Kentucky Hired Running Back Coach John Settle from Wisconsin
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RB Coach John Settle Leaving Wisconsin for Kentucky

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin football coach Paul Chryst has a third vacancy to fill on his coaching staff less than three weeks before the start of spring practices, as running back coach John Settle has taken the same position on Mark Stoops's staff at the University of Kentucky, sources told

The new hire would be the second coaching change on offense next season for Chryst, as quarterback coach Jon Budmayr left to become the offensive coordinator at Colorado State. Instead of hiring Budmayr’s replacement, Chryst said he’ll assume the road and hired Hank Poteat from Toledo to coach UW’s cornerbacks and take some of the responsibilities off defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard’s plate.

John Settle is leaving Wisconsin after coaching the Badgers running backs for the last six seasons.
John Settle is leaving Wisconsin after coaching the Badgers running backs for the last six seasons. (Dan Sanger/

Chryst also hired Ross Kolodziej to his first assistant coaching position after long-time defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield left to take the same position at Vanderbilt.

Settle has spent 11 overall seasons between two stints at Wisconsin, the second one starting in 2015. He’s coached six former Badgers who are currently playing int the NFL: tailbacks Corey Clement, Dare Ogunbowale, Jonathan Taylor and James White and fullbacks Alec Ingold and Derek Watt. He also coached Doak Walker Award winner Montee Ball and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year John Clay.

Settle’s biggest success story is Taylor, the two-time unanimous first-team All-American and two-time Doak Walker Award winner who finished in the top 10 of Heisman Trophy voting three times. In just three seasons, Taylor rushed for a staggering 6,174 yards — the highest three-year total by any player, by a margin of more than 500 yards — to rank sixth on the FBS all-time rushing list.

Without Taylor this past season, the Badgers struggled in a pandemic-shortened seven game season. Wisconsin finished 62nd nationally in rushing (164.6 yards per game), had only one 100-yard rusher all year (Garrett Groshek vs. Minnesota) and dealt with injuries and illness to top two backs Jalen Berger and Nakia Watson.

Berger will lead a young running back room that includes sophomore Isaac Guerendo, redshirt freshman Julius Davis and incoming freshmen Jackson Acker, Loyal Crawford and Antwan Roberts, as Groshek (NFL) and Watson (transfer portal) decided not to return. UW will also have a change at fullback with Mason Stokke headed to the NFL and junior John Chenal taking his place.

Spring practices for Wisconsin are scheduled to begin March 30.