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Wisconsin adds Haynes, Hitschler, Scruggs to defensive staff

NCAA Football: Guaranteed Rate Bowl-Wisconsin at Oklahoma State

Dec 27, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Luke Fickell against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second half of the 2022 Guaranteed Rate Bowl at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin added Paul Haynes, Colin Hitschler, and Greg Scruggs to new coach Luke Fickell’s defensive staff.

Haynes will coach cornerbacks and Scruggs will coach defensive linemen. Hitschler will coach safeties and lead the special-teams unit.

“I’m really excited about being able to add Paul, Colin and Greg,” Fickell said in a statement. “I have experience working with all three of them and they are tremendous coaches and people. They truly value the relationships with their players and will work diligently to help them develop both on and off the field.”

Fickell already had named Mike Tressel his defensive coordinator.

Haynes coached Minnesota’s cornerbacks the last three seasons and was the Gophers’ co-defensive coordinator in 2022. He was the head coach at Kent State from 2013-17 and posted a 14-45 record.

Haynes previously coached Ohio State’s secondary from 2005-11 and was co-defensive coordinator in 2011 when Fickell was the Buckeyes’ interim head coach. He also was Michigan State’s defensive backs coach in 2018-19, when Tressel was the Spartans’ defensive coordinator.

Hitschler joined Fickell’s Cincinnati staff as a quality control coach in 2018 and was the Bearcats’ safeties coach from 2020-22. He also has coached safeties at South Alabama.

Scruggs was the New York Jets’ assistant defensive line coach this season. He was Cincinnati’s director of player development from 2018-19 and defensive line coach from 2020-21.