NCAA Football

Wisconsin hires Phil Long from North Carolina as offensive coordinator: Source

Wisconsin hires Phil Long from North Carolina as offensive coordinator: Source

Wisconsin’s new coach Luke Fickell is hiring Phil Long from North Carolina as the Badgers’ offensive coordinator, a source familiar with the hiring said. Athletic. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Longo, 54, spent the last four seasons as the Tar Heels’ offensive coordinator under Mack Brown. UNC is ranked in the top 30 nationally in scoring each season. As a quarterback, Longo coached fifth-round draft pick Sam Howell and Drake Maywho passed for 4,115 yards this season.
  • Longo previously served as the offensive coordinator at Ole Miss from 2017-18 after making the jump from the FCS level.
  • Wisconsin ranks 78th in offense this season and is a three-year starting quarterback Graeme Mertz entered the transfer portal.
  • Long’s addition on offense comes one day after interim coach/defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard announced that he will leave Wisconsin after the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

What does the addition of Longo mean for Wisconsin?

Long’s hiring represents a dramatic shift in offensive philosophy for Wisconsin, moving from a pro-style program to one that is supposed to be based on an air raid attack. However, Long’s offense also focused on the run, which will be an important component given Wisconsin’s history of success with its offensive line and running backs. The Badgers have lacked a pass rush for much of the past decade, and the addition of Long is expected to add new value to the offense. North Carolina ranked in the top 15 in total offense in each of the last four seasons under Long. — Temple

Why did Wisconsin pick Long?

Longo and Fickell developed a relationship that began when Longo interviewed for the offensive coordinator position at Cincinnati in 2017 before he accepted the Ole Miss job. Long’s reputation is as an air raider, but he has made several explosive attacks. His offense was second in the ACC in yards per carry in 2021 and led the conference in 2020. He ranked in the top 10 nationally in each of those years, and in both seasons the Tar Heels ranked in the top two in the conference in rushing yards. — Feldman

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(Photo: Bob Donnan/USA Today)

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