Wisconsin Coaches Profiles: Defense, Part 3

by Rexford Shield

As we conclude the defensive side of the ball, we end with possibly the most entertaining position coach on the staff: Chad Kauha'aha'a - if you don't believe me, just follow his Twitter account @CoachChadKUte45.  

Coach K.jpg

Chad Kauha’aha’a, Defensive Line

Background: While Busch stood out as an outstanding recruiter, Kauha’aha’a (Coach K) seems to be the best coach in terms of X's and O's. He has produced talent on top of talent, especially during his stint at Utah in 2011. He mentored the highly-touted defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, who is expected to be drafted in the top five of the 2013 NFL Draft. Moreover, he mentored Lotulelei's defensive line teammates Joe Kruger, who is expected to be a second round draft pick, and was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 choice in 2012. Furthermore, while at FCS Weber State, he coached FCS first-team All-America defensive end Brady Fosmark, also a first-team All-Big Sky pick along with defensive tackle Shane Barkdull.

“I know Wisconsin is known for being an offensive line school," Coach K said in his introductory press conference. "Maybe I've got to get used to that somewhat. I just came from a school where they put defensive linemen in the NFL like Wisconsin pumps out O-linemen.”

Any way you shake it, Coach K can flat out coach and that is evident by the players he coached. He is in prime position to turn out some more great players as the next year's defensive line is loaded with talent. Beau Allen and Ethan Hemer can clog up the middle effectively while David Gilbert and Brendan Kelly should hold their own on the outside.

Coach K also has depth at the position. Defensive lineman Bryce Gilbert is expected to take a big step forward with more experience under his belt and Coach K should dramatically help in his further development. Tyler Dippel, Konrad Zagzebski and Warren Herring should be in the mix to compete in the rotation as well.

No matter who the coach is, a defense is only as successful as the defensive line. With Coach K on the sidelines, the defense should be in good shape.

Style of Play: Similarly to Busch, Coach K will expect a lot from his players. “I'll get them going," he said. "I'm a passionate guy. If not, Gary would have never hired me. We've got to be high-tempo, high-energy coaches. We've got to be able to love our guys and take care of them. They're the first priority, not only for Gary but for us (position coaches). That's why I'm here."

Coach K going through drills

Coach K going through drills

Coach K also mentioned the type of demeanor he will exhibit on the sidelines and in practice. “I expect toughness, that's what you get out of my group,” he said. “A hard-nosed bunch of guys. We'll have that. At the same time, we like to have some 'swag.'” I really like the aspect of “swag.” Patridge really seemed―at least to me―like a tooth and nail type of coach and more of an overly aggressive-style coach. With Coach K, I think fans can expect a more easy-going coach with his players but still up-tempo and passionate.

What it boils down to is motivating your players to rise to the occasion on the biggest of stages. If Lotulelei's development under Coach K is any indication of what he can do to raw talent, the sky is the limit for this unit.

Recruiting Emphasis: He was involved with the recruitment of one commitment in the 2013 class: Sam Raridon (DT 2-star 6'3'' 278 lbs; West Des Moines, Iowa). Places like Hawaii, California, Utah and Arizona stand out to me as "hot spots" for recruiting areas, as Coach K was born in Maui and coached at Utah. While he was at Utah, according to Rivals' database, he recruited exclusively in the state of Hawaii and California. The key will be if Andersen will want to extend the recruiting map all the way to Hawaii and if recruits will want to come to the frigid temperatures of the Midwest.

Impression: I couldn't be more excited for this hire. He is similar to Busch in the sense that he is extremely strong in a particular facet of the game (i.e. teaching technique over recruiting). If I'm him, I would be salivating over the opportunity to take the reins of the defensive line unit, which fans should expect to be the anchor of the defense. Finally, when you see a potential top five draft pick attached to a coach's name, what's not to like about the hire?