Luke Fickell to remain in background for Wisconsin’s bowl

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PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — Wisconsin’s new coach, Luke Fickel, will continue to be present around the Badgers at the Guaranteed Rate Bowl at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday night. He said on Monday that he was not responsible.

Fickel will sit on the sidelines, don a headset, and do any coaching he can help with, but he will continue to leave interim head coach Jim Leonhardt with duties against Oklahoma State.

At Badger’s Media Day, Fickel said, “I’m coaching in a way that really helps them handle things the way they handle them.” He was really mature and Jim was great.

“I’m kind of a guy, maybe a little more like a frontman, and I communicate with them depending on the situation, but nothing has changed in the way they practice, the way they do things. Tuesday’s practice, Wednesday’s Practice, Thursday practice, Friday practice, what to do with game day.”

Fickel said communication during Tuesday night’s game was “much different” than during a normal match. strive to

“I think that’s the only chance for success,” Fickel said.

Fickel, who was hired away from Cincinnati on Nov. 27, made the strategic decision not to take the reins when Leonhardt joined the company, but he wanted to find a way to be around his new team. .

It was a balance he had to find.

“I didn’t want to be the guy on the Zoom call while the game was going on and the guys in your program and team were sweating and butts off,” Fickel said. “And really, in this new era of college football, how can you really care for your program, your team, and your men if you’re not around them? .. That is, if you are not talking to them in this age, but someone else is talking to them, so unless you are always by their side and communicating with them, you will not get hurt in what you are doing. I don’t think there is any way to keep it.”

Fickel has basically let the current staff handle everything. When asked who would be the starting quarterback on Tuesday night, he refused to answer.

“Come in for three weeks and you’ll know better what’s going on within the program and what they’ve accomplished, whether it’s five years with Chase Wolfe or one. How arrogant must you be to think that [Burkett]to make that decision,” he said.

Fickel has been in bowl practice and leading the whistle, senior safety John Tokio said, but has taken more of an administrative role than any coaching job.

Having him on the sidelines on Tuesday was “obviously different,” Tokio said.

“I’m the third head coach this year,” he said. “I don’t know how many times it’s happened in college football.

“You have to roll with it. That’s how it’s been this season so far.”

Fickel’s future players enjoy taking him to get to know Fickel and coach Fickel.

“It’s cool just to have him around,” said sophomore running back Braylon Allen. “See what his coaching style is like for him to be here with us and build a relationship with him…a more defensive guy.”

“But just having him there and being able to build relationships and connections, it was cool. I’m excited for him to take over everything and make it his show.”

Fickel said it’s not easy to be in practice but not really coaching.

He’s taken a lot of notes over the past few weeks, but added that it might be helpful to see how other coaches are treating his team.

“Every practice was pretty tough,” he said with a laugh. “It was hard to bite my lip and keep moving during practice, and it’s hard. [know the] Terminology. I know defense, but I don’t know defense. So obviously some things will change in the next few weeks, so I don’t want to spend too much time studying and learning everything, so it’s challenging in those respects.

“So all of this put together was uncomfortable.”

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