Ben Strickland, a former Wisconsin defensive back, is in his third year as an assistant coach and works with the Badgers' cornerbacks and special teams.
Strickland has the Badgers' secondary working as one of the top units in the Big Ten and top 20 nationally. In 2013, the Badgers' defense ranked No. 17 in the country against the pass, giving up just 202.5 yards per game through the air, and ranked in a tie for 13th in the FBS in yards allowed per passing attempt at 6.2.
|Strickland at a Glance
|Wisconsin, Minnesota, Southern Ohio
| Minnetonka (Minn.) High School defensive backs (2008)
Wisconsin defensive quality control coordinator (2009)
Wisconsin defensive graduate assistant (2010-11)
Wisconsin secondary coach (2012-present)
| 2009 Champs Sports
2014 Capital One
UW was especially strong against the pass on third down, allowing opponents to convert just 25.2 percent of their third-down attempts through the air, the fourth-best mark in the nation. The Badgers ranked No. 3 nationally both in terms of completion percentage (40.7 percent) and yards per attempt (4.37) by opponents on third down.
Strickland's unit also was key in the Badgers matching Michigan State for the national lead in the fewest plays of 10-plus yards allowed with just 125 in 13 games.
Strickland mentored true freshman CB Sojourn Shelton to an impressive debut season, with Shelton tying for third in the Big Ten with four interceptions. His four picks ranked No. 3 nationally among true freshman, trailing only Virginia Tech teammates Kendall Fuller (6) and Brandon Facyson (5). Shelton's four interceptions were the second-most ever by a UW freshman and the most by a true freshman in school history.
In Strickland's first season, three of the Badgers' four starters in the secondary received 2012 All-Big Ten honors in senior CB Devin Smith, who tied for the Big Ten lead in interceptions, senior CB Marcus Cromartie and junior SS Dezmen Southward.
Strickland spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons as a graduate assistant working with the defense. He returned to Wisconsin is 2009, serving as the team's defensive quality control coordinator.
A former walk-on, Strickland was elected team captain as a senior in 2007. A four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Strickland played in 51 games as a Badger on special teams and as a defensive back. He finished his career with 72 tackles, eight passes defensed and one interception.
On special teams he blocked and recovered a punt in the 2007 Capital One Bowl. He also recovered a blocked punt in the end zone to cap a dramatic comeback win at Minnesota in 2005, a play that was later named the Pontiac Game-Changing Performance of the Year by ESPN.
Strickland graduated from UW in December 2007 with a degree in special education and is finishing his master's degree in educational leadership. Following graduation, he spent a year teaching at Wayzata High School in Minnesota and coached defensive backs at Minnetonka High School.
Strickland and his wife, Laura, live in Madison. They are expecting their first child in June 2014.