Wisconsin hires new outside linebackers coach

Wisconsin has its new outside linebackers coach.

The school announced Wednesday it had hired Bobby April III to replace Tim Tibesar, who is now the defensive coordinator at Oregon State.

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April comes to the Badgers after six seasons in the NFL, including most recently as the linebackers coach for the Buffalo Bills in 2015 and 2016.

“We’re excited to add Bobby to the staff,” coach Paul Chryst said in a press release. “He brings great knowledge and passion for the game of football. His experience will help our players grow and is a great fit for our defensive staff room.”

As has been the case with most of Chryst’s hires, April does have a connection to a current staff member. Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard played under April’s father, Bobby Jr., when he was with the Bills in the late 2000s.

April’s collegiate experience came at Tulane as a graduate assistant, and then as an assistant at Portland State and Nicholls State before heading to the NFL in 2011.

“What’s always appealed to me about Wisconsin football is the way the players play with a chip on their shoulder and how tough mentally and physically they are,” April said in a press release. “The attitude of the program and the fans, the excitement of the city is incomparable.
 
“The defense speaks for itself over the last five seasons. It’s been dominant. I just want to come in here and help it get better. The players are young and hungry, which is exciting to see. With Coach Chryst, he’s an unbelievable coach but a more unbelievable person. He’s brought on guys that share his values and it’s a great thing to be a part of.”

April does have his work cut out for him. While the Badgers return a talented player in senior Andrew Van Ginkel, they must replace their two other starting outside linebackers — Garret Dooley and Leon Jacobs.

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