Bob Bostad (pronounced BO-stad) is in his sixth season as an assistant coach at Wisconsin. He was named run game coordinator in February of 2007 and became the Badgers' offensive line coach in January of 2008 after coaching tight ends his first two seasons.
Under Bostad's tutelage, UW's offensive line has become one of the preeminent position groups in the country. In the last two seasons, four different offensive linemen have earned first-team All-America honors. The Badgers have also dominated the All-Big Ten teams the last two seasons, placing six offensive linemen on all-conference teams a year ago and having five honored this season.
For the first time in school history, Wisconsin has rushed for at least 3,000 yards in two-straight seasons. A year after finishing 12th in the country with 245.7 rushing yards per game, UW is 10th in the nation this season at 237.4 yards per game on the ground. After averaging 5.47 yards per carry in 2010, the Badgers are even better this season, averaging 5.48 yards per rush. The school record is 5.52 set in 1996.
This year, the line paved the way for Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball, who has scored 38 touchdowns on the season, just one shy of the NCAA record. Last year the Badgers nearly made history as they fell just four yards short of having three running backs run for at least 1,000 yards in the same season. No team in FBS history has ever done that.
The Wisconsin offense has rewritten the record books the last two seasons, averaging 41.5 points a year ago and 44.6 points this season. Both marks led the Big Ten and ranked among the top five in the country. The Badgers tied a Big Ten record with 48 rushing TDs in 2010, a mark that is in danger of falling this year as UW has racked up 46 TDs on the ground heading into the Rose Bowl.
Before last year, the only time a pair of Badger offensive linemen earned first-team All-America honors in the same year was in 1920. UW has now done so two straight seasons. In 2010, tackle Gabe Carimi, the Outland Trophy winner, was a consensus All-American, while guard John Moffitt was first-team All-American by the Associated Press. This year, guard Kevin Zeilter and center Peter Konz were both first-team choices by the American Football Coaches Association.
Amazingly, 11 Badger offensive linemen have been recognized as All-Big Ten over the last two seasons, including five different first-team selections (Carimi, Moffitt, Konz, Zeitler and Josh Oglesby). Following the 2010 season, all three of UW's senior offensive linemen were chosen in the NFL Draft, making Wisconsin one of two schools in the country with three o-linemen drafted.
Carimi went in the first round to the Chicago Bears, Moffitt was a third-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks and Bill Nagy was chosen in the seventh round by the Dallas Cowboys. It was the first time since 1988 that Wisconsin had at least three offensive linemen taken in the same draft and all three started for their teams on opening day.
Wisconsin is one of just five teams in the country that has averaged at least 200.0 yards rushing per game in each of the last five seasons. The Badgers have led the Big Ten in rushing in each of the last four seasons. This year UW was one of the most balanced teams in the country and is on the verge of becoming just the second team in Big Ten history to pass for at least 3,000 yards and rush for at least 3,000 yards in the same season.
In 2009, despite starting six different combinations at offensive line, UW led the Big Ten in total offense, scoring offense and rushing offense while allowing just 23 quarterback sacks, its lowest total since 2004. Running back John Clay earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors while leading the Big Ten and ranking eighth in the country with 1,517 rushing yards. Two offensive linemen, Carimi and Moffitt, were named first-team All-Big Ten.
In 2008, Bostad helped guide a running game that averaged a Big Ten-leading 211.2 yards per game, good for 14th in the country. Running backs P.J. Hill and Clay combined for 2,045 yards and became the first Badger duo to run for at least 800 yards in the same season since 1994. Hill cracked the 1,000-yard plateau for the third-consecutive season. Bostad's offensive line boasted three seniors that earned All-Big Ten recognition (Kraig Urbik, Andy Kemp and Eric Vanden Heuvel). Urbik was also selected a first-team All-American by ESPN.com and drafted in the third round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bostad oversaw a rushing attack that amassed 2,610 yards in 2007, an average of 200.8 per game that ranked second in the Big Ten. Hill registered his second consecutive 1,000-yard campaign, while sophomore Lance Smith and freshman Zach Brown combined to rush for 997 yards. In addition, Bostad-coached tight ends Travis Beckum and Garrett Graham were the Badgers' leading receivers. Beckum, who accumulated 982 yards on a school record-tying 75 receptions (both new records for a UW tight end), was a finalist for the John Mackey Award and a first-team All-American. Graham put up 30 catches for 328 yards and four TDs.
Bostad enjoyed a tremendously productive first year at Wisconsin in 2006. UW's top two tight ends - Beckum and Andy Crooks - were unquestionably key components in the team's record-breaking 12-1 campaign. Beckum, who caught five TD passes, was a John Mackey Award semifinalist and earned Walter Camp second-team All-America honors. Crooks, who had 19 catches for 206 yards, added four touchdown grabs and earned UW's Tom Wiesner Award.
Prior to coming to Wisconsin, Bostad coached the offensive line at New Mexico from 1999-2005. Bostad's 2005 offensive line, which paved the way for DonTrell Moore, the Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year and the nation's 10th-leading rusher, featured a pair of first-team all-conference selections, including center Ryan Cook and guard Robert Turner. Cook was a second-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings, while tackle Terrance Pennington was a seventh-round pick of the Buffalo Bills. Both players started as rookies.
During Bostad's tenure at New Mexico, 14 Lobo offensive linemen earned all-conference mention, including seven first-team selections (both of those figures are tops in MWC history). Among the players Bostad coached at New Mexico were: tackle Claude Terrell, a third-team A.P. All-American and fourth-round draft choice of the St. Louis Rams (he started as a rookie for the Rams in 2005) and tackle Jason Lenzmeier, who became the first offensive lineman in conference and school history to earn MWC offensive player of the week honors in 2003.
The 2003 Lobos led the MWC in scoring (30.1 ppg) and ranked 11th nationally in rushing average (227 ypg). The 2002 New Mexico line allowed just 17 quarterback sacks in 14 games (352 passing attempts). New Mexico's 2001 club averaged 27.6 points per game, an improvement of more than eight points per contest over the previous year. The Lobos also averaged 376.8 yards per game of total offense in 2001, a jump of 110.2 yards per game over the 2000 campaign.
Bostad was offensive line coach (1997-98) and offensive coordinator (1998) at San Jose State prior to his years at New Mexico. His top player with the Spartans was David Loverne, a first-team All-WAC selection and third-round choice of the New York Jets.
Bostad coached the offensive line at Cal State Northridge in 1995-96 and spent three seasons (1992-94) as an offensive line graduate assistant at Minnesota under head coach Jim Wacker.
Bostad got his coaching start at his alma mater, UW-Stevens Point, where he coached the offensive line from 1990-91.
Bostad graduated from UW-Stevens Point in 1989 with a degree in physical education. He was a four-year starter as a linebacker for the Pointers and earned all-conference mention each year. UW-Stevens Point won 33 games during his career and tied Pacific Lutheran for the NCAA Division III national title in 1987. Bostad earned a master's degree in kinesiology from Minnesota in 1994.
Bostad is a native of Pardeeville, Wis. He and his wife, Cara, have three daughters: Rachel, Bryn and Annika, and a son, John.