Head coach Bret Bielema met the media Monday as Badgers begin preparations for Hoosiers
Dave Huxtable is in his first year as linebackers coach at Wisconsin.
Huxtable, with 29 years of college coaching experience, has spent the last seven seasons at UCF, the last three as the Knights' defensive coordinator. Last year UCF won the Conference USA title and defeated Georgia in the Liberty Bowl, recording a school-record 11 wins. Huxtable's defense was a big reason for that success. The Knights ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense (17.1 ppg.), eighth in rushing defense (108.4 ypg.), 15th in total defense (315.4 ypg.) and 18th in pass efficiency defense (113.0).
"I think Dave is a great addition to our staff," Bielema said. "He brings a ton of experience, having coached the linebacker position virtually his entire career. His defenses at UCF were very well-coached, as evidenced by their success this season. As good a coach as he is, he is even a better person and he will fit into our staff very well."
In 2009, UCF was fourth in the country in rushing defense (82.8 ypg.), sixth in sacks (38.0) and tied for seventh in fumbles recovered (16). In Huxtable's first season as coordinator, the Knights were third in the country in tackles for loss (8.2 per game) and 18th in the country in pass efficiency defense (107.5).
"I'm really excited about the opportunity to coach at Wisconsin," Huxtable said. "The University of Wisconsin is a top-notch program with great tradition. When I came up to visit I was so impressed with the people, the coaching staff and Coach Bielema. I'm very excited to get the opportunity to work for him. I'm looking forward to getting up to Madison and winning football games."
Huxtable spent his first four seasons at UCF as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. From 2001-03, Huxtable worked at North Carolina. He coached the linebackers for three seasons and also served as the team's defensive coordinator for the final two years of his stint in Chapel Hill. In 2001, he also was North Carolina's special teams coordinator.
Huxtable helped guide a unit that finished first in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 15th in the nation in 2001 in total defense. In addition, he molded a group of inexperienced linebackers into one of the top units in the ACC. Under Huxtable's instruction, former walk-on David Thornton earned All-ACC honors in 2001 after leading the Tar Heels with 131 tackles. That same season, fellow linebacker Quincy Monk was second on the team with 125 stops. Thornton (fourth round) and Monk (seventh round) were both selected in the NFL Draft.
Prior to North Carolina, Huxtable spent a year as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Oklahoma State. Before coaching the Cowboys, he spent two years on the East Carolina staff. Huxtable worked with the Pirate linebackers in 1998 and defensive line in 1999.
Huxtable and UCF head coach George O'Leary worked together at Georgia Tech during the 1990s. While serving as the Yellow Jackets' linebackers coach from 1992-97, Huxtable also spent time as the program's defensive coordinator (1996-97) and special teams coordinator (1992-94).
Huxtable's first stint at East Carolina came in the early 1990s, coaching linebackers and special teams from 1990-91. He also coached at Western Kentucky from 1985-89 and was the Hilltoppers' defensive coordinator in 1989. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Iowa State in 1982 and then served as the defensive coordinator at Independence Community College in Kansas.
During his career, Huxtable has coached a pair of players who were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft: Robert Jones at East Carolina (Dallas, 1991) and Keith Brooking at Georgia Tech (Atlanta, 1997).
A 1979 graduate of Eastern Illinois with a bachelor's degree in education, Huxtable and his wife Vicki have a daughter, Shea, and a son, Jake. Shea played tennis at Georgia Southern and Jake played the 2009 and 2010 seasons on the UCF baseball squad.