Badgers Youth Football Camp at Camp Randall Saturday

MADISON, Wis. — Aspiring players in kindergarten through eighth grade have the chance to learn football from the Badgers this weekend.

 The Wisconsin football program will host its one-day Youth Camp on Saturday, with the program running from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Camp Randall Stadium.

 Campers will have the opportunity to rotate through a variety of skill stations and take part in activities like “Badger Ball” while receiving instruction from UW head coach Gary Andersen and his staff and players.

 Registrations will be taken until 9:30 a.m. Saturday and must be completed online at UWCamps.com. No on-site registration will be available. The cost is $75, which includes a full day of instruction, lunch, camp t-shirt and a photo with Andersen for each camper.

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Dayne Elected to College Football H.O.F.

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MADISON, Wis. – More than 13 years after running to the top of the NCAA career rushing list, former Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne has been chosen to join an elite group. On Tuesday, the National Football Foundation announced that Dayne will be immortalized as part of the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013.

 

“I’m very excited and thrilled to be mentioned with the greatest names in college football history,” Dayne said. “This is a tremendous honor for me and the university. As with everything in my career, I see this as a team honor and something I never could have achieved without my teammates and coaches.”

 Dayne finished his career as college football’s all-time leading rusher. The official NCAA record book credits him with 6,397 career rushing yards, most in FBS history. Including bowl games, Dayne rushed for 7,125 total yards as a Badger.

 As a senior, Dayne became the second player in Badgers’ history to win the Heisman Trophy, racking up 2,034 rushing yards and scoring 20 touchdowns. That year he also won the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Doak Walker Award, Chicago Tribune Silver Football and was a unanimous, consensus first-team All-American.

 Dayne helped lead UW to back-to-back Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl championships in 1998 and 1999. A member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, he is one of just four players to ever be named MVP of “The Grandaddy of Them All” twice.

 Dayne burst onto the college football scene as a freshman, running for a then-FBS record 1,863 yards in the regular season (Adrian Peterson broke the record with 1,925 yards as a freshman in 2004). Dayne added 246 yards and Copper Bowl MVP honors to finish the season with 2,109 yards despite not starting the first four games of the season.

 As a sophomore, Dayne was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award and a first-team All-American from College Football News. Despite missing two full games and parts of two others, he still ranked fifth nationally with an average of 142.0 rushing yards per game (1,457 total yards).

 Dayne was again a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as a junior, leading the Big Ten in rushing and earning Walter Camp first-team All-America honors. He led the Badgers’ upset of No. 6 UCLA in the 1999 Rose Bowl, rushing for 246 yards and earning game MVP honors. That game also set the stage for his Heisman Trophy campaign the following season.

 

“In my opinion, Ron was simply the most dominant running back that ever played college football,” said Dayne’s former coach, current Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez. “If the rules back then were the same as they are now, with bowl games counting towards his career rushing total, no one would even come close to touching his record. We’ve had a lot of great players come through here but when people think of Wisconsin football, they think of Ron Dayne running the football.”

 Dayne’s No. 33 was officially retired by Wisconsin in 2007. He was elected to the UW Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

 Dayne becomes the 11th former Badgers’ player or coach to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. The most recent inductee was his former coach, as Alvarez was a member of the Class of 2010. Dayne is the fourth former UW running back in the Hall of Fame, joining Wisconsin’s only other Heisman Trophy winner, Alan Ameche, along with Pat Harder and Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch.

The 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class will be inducted at the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, 2013, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. They will be honored guests at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 2, 2014 and officially enshrined in the summer of 2014.

 

Badgers in the College Football H.O.F.

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Barry Alvarez, Coach, Class of 2010
Alan Ameche, RB, Class of 1975
Marty Below, OL, Class of 1988
Robert Butler, OL, Class of 1972
Ron Dayne, RB, Class of 2013
Pat Harder, FB, Class of 1993
“Crazylegs” Hirsch, RB, Class of 1974
George Little, Coach, Class of 1962
Pat O’Dea, P, Class of 1962
Pat Richter, WR, Class of 1996
Dave Schreiner, End, Class of 1955

Matt Canada named Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema took another step towards completing his coaching staff by naming Matt Canada as the Badgers’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Tuesday. Canada spent last season in the same role at Northern Illinois, helping the Huskies to an 11-3 record, a MAC championship and a victory in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

 “Matt has a terrific history as an offensive coordinator and has excelled at developing quarterbacks throughout his career,” Bielema said. “I know he is very excited about running a pro-style offense and handling a game the way we typically have at Wisconsin. I think this is a great hire for us and I can’t wait for him to get to work with our coaches and players.”

Last season, Canada worked for former Badger defensive coordinator Dave Doeren and directed one of the most explosive offenses in the country. Northern Illinois finished among the top 12 in the country in scoring offense, total offense and rushing offense. The Huskies joined Wisconsin as two of the five teams in the country to average at least 230.0 yards rushing and passing last season. NIU’s quarterback, Chandler Harnisch, was a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and was named honorable mention All-America by SI.com. He finished ninth in the country in total offense, averaging 328.2 yards per game.

“I’m truly excited for the opportunity to come to Wisconsin,” Canada said. “It’s a program that I’ve followed closely for a number of years. I’ve always been impressed with their tradition, especially offensively with their style of play, and I can’t wait to be a part of that.”

“In this process, I’m putting together a staff that will come from different directions to come together to play football the way Wisconsin has traditionally played,” Bielema said.

Last year marked Canada’s second stint with Northern Illinois. He spent six seasons (1998-2003) as an assistant coach at NIU under former head coach Joe Novak, working with the NIU running backs (1998-2000) and quarterbacks (2001-02) before taking over as offensive coordinator in the Huskies’ breakthrough 2003 season. At Northern Illinois, Canada was part of the staff that revived the Huskie program, from a team that was 2-9 in his first season of 1998 to the team that upset Maryland, Alabama and Iowa State en route to a No. 12 Associated Press and No. 10 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) ranking in 2003.

Canada coached players whose names fill the Huskie record books, including current Atlanta Falcons’ running back and 2003 second-team All-American Michael Turner, and fellow thousand-yard rushers William Andrews and current Wisconsin running backs coach Thomas Hammock. The Huskie offense under Canada also featured current Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Ryan Diem and former New York Jets and Tennessee Titans wide receiver Justin McCareins.

Before returning to Northern Illinois in 2011, Canada had spent the last seven years at Indiana, where he coached the Hoosiers’ quarterbacks each season, became passing game coordinator in 2005 and 2006, and served as offensive coordinator for the last four years. Canada’s quarterbacks at IU (Ben Chappell, Kellen Lewis and Blake Powers) hold the top three spots in single season touchdowns, yards, completions, attempts and completion percentage. In four years as IU offensive coordinator, the Hoosiers had an All-American wide receiver (James Hardy), three first-team All-Big Ten receivers, an all-conference left tackle and an all-league quarterback (Lewis). Chappell led the Big Ten in passing yards, completions and attempts in 2010 while setting the Indiana single-season records in all three categories. Lewis set the Indiana school record for career passing touchdowns and established new single-season marks for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total yards as the 2007 Hoosiers scored a school-record 412 points under Canada’s direction.

A 1993 graduate of Indiana, Canada began his coaching career as a student assistant (1992-93) and graduate assistant (1994-95) at IU. He made his full-time coaching debut in 1996 at Butler University, where he oversaw the quarterbacks and wideouts before moving up to offensive coordinator in 1997.

Bielema names Zach Azzanni Wide Receivers Coach

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema announced Monday that he has hired Zach Azzanni to coach wide receivers for    the Badgers. Azzanni, who served as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Western Kentucky last season, has also coached at Florida, Central Michigan, Bowling Green and Valparaiso.

Mike Lucas: Azzanni happy to find home on Badgers’ staff

 

“Zach is a great fit for Wisconsin,” Bielema said. “He is a terrific coach who stresses fundamentals and is also a great recruiter. His coaching philosophy, personality and character fit perfectly with what we do here and how we do it. I’ve known Zach for a number of years and I’m very excited to be able to add him to our staff.”

With Azzanni directing the offense, Western Kentucky featured the nation’s No. 2 rusher this season, Bobby Rainey. He averaged 141.3 rushing yards per game, running for 1,695 yards and 13 touchdowns. Behind Rainey, the Hilltoppers led the Sun Belt Conference in rushing offense.  WKU tight end Jack Doyle was also the top receiving tight end in the Sun Belt and finished fifth among TEs in the country in receiving yards. Western Kentucky was 7-1 in the Sun Belt, finishing second to Arkansas State. That followed a 2-10 overall record in 2010. WKU improved its conference win total by five from 2010 to 2011, the biggest turnaround in Sun Belt history.

“My family and I are ecstatic about coming to Madison and joining the Badgers,” Azzanni said. “I’ve known Coach Bielema for a number of years and I jumped at the opportunity to become a part of one of the Big Ten’s best programs. I look forward to getting started and continuing the great tradition at Wisconsin.”

Azzanni was hired at Florida following the 2009 regular season and coached in the Gators’ appearance in the 2010 Sugar Bowl in which Tim Tebow ended his career with a personal-best 482 passing yards. He spent the 2010 season at Florida, coaching the Gator wide receivers and serving as the passing game coordinator. UF defeated Penn State in the Outback Bowl that season.

Prior to going to Gainesville, Azzanni spent three seasons as the assistant head coach and receivers coach at his alma mater, Central Michigan. Azzanni’s 2009 wide receiver unit was one of the most prolific in the college football. Bryan Anderson established an NCAA mark with a catch in 53 consecutive games, while teammate Antonio Brown had a streak of 40 straight games with a catch. Anderson and Brown combined for 49 career touchdown receptions, tied for the top active duo in the country for scoring receptions. Anderson totaled more than 3,500 yards receiving in his career and Brown eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the second time and surpassed 3,000-yard receiving for his career. Both receivers went on to sign NFL contracts, with Brown starting for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. This year Brown was named the Steelers’ team MVP and earned a Pro Bowl selection after becoming first player in NFL history with at least 1,000 yards receiving (1,108) and at least 1,000 return yards (1,062) in the same season.

Prior to joining the Central Michigan Staff, Azzanni spent the previous six seasons at Bowling Green. He coached the wide receivers from 2003-06, leading a group that broke nearly every school receiving record. He coached Charles Sharon, the school’s all-time leader in receptions (232), receiving yards (3,450) and touchdown catches (34). In 2004 he coached a group that produced four receivers with 1,000 yards receiving. Five of his receivers at Bowling Green went on to sign professional contracts. Known for developing talent, Azzanni’s 2004 receiving corp at Bowling Green was ranked third-best in the nation by Athlon Sports. His 2009 group was ranked ninth in the nation by the same publication, and helped him to be named college football’s wide receiver coach of the year.

No stranger to success on the field as both a player and a coach, Azzanni has been part of nine teams that have either won conference championships or played in bowl games. As a player, he was part of the 1994 Central Michigan squad that won the Mid-American Conference championship and played in the Las Vegas Bowl. He also coached in the 2003 Motor City Bowl and 2004 GMAC Bowl at Bowling Green. He coached in two more Motor City Bowls at CMU in 2007 and 2008, and was part of the staffs at Florida for the 2010 Allstate Sugar Bowl and 2011 Outback Bowl. Additionally, he coached conference championship teams at Valparaiso, BGSU and CMU. He graduated with a degree in Sports Management in 1999 from Central Michigan. Azzanni and his wife, Julia, have two daughters: Ava and Lyla.

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