|Boulware Bolts for Boomer Sooner|
A week before Wisconsin and first-year head coach Gary Andersen open spring practice, tight end/special teams coach Jay Boulware resigns and accepts the same coaching position at Oklahoma.
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Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops announced Friday that Jay Boulware has joined the Sooners after spending approximately 49 days at Wisconsin. Just like his expected role with the Badgers, Boulware will coach tight ends and will also have special teams duties to be further defined at a later date.
"Jay owns an impressive track record as both a coach and recruiter," Stoops said in a release. "He possesses a wide range of coaching experience, competing in some of the nation's toughest conferences. He also has strong ties in the state of Texas, as well as recruiting relationships across the country that will serve us well at the University of Oklahoma. We enthusiastically welcome Jay back to his roots in the Big 12."
Having just finished his fourth season as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at Auburn, Boulware, 40, was the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at Utah in 2005 and 2006, when Andersen was the Utes' defensive coordinator. Boulware was walking into a loaded tight end group at Wisconsin, led by senior and Big Ten tight end of the year Jacob Pedersen.
He also hoped to exert his influence on Wisconsin's special teams. Auburn ranked second nationally in punt coverage this past season, averaging 0.8 yards per return, and third in kickoff coverage 18.6 per return). In 2011, Auburn led the SEC in kickoff return yards (24.3 average), kick return touchdowns (two), kickoff coverage (546 yards) and fewest punts returned (10) in 2011.
Now the Badgers are left scrambling to find a replacement.
Born in Oklahoma City, Boulware served as an offensive lineman at the University of Texas before he began his coaching career with the Longhorns as both a student assistant (1994-95) and a graduate assistant (1996). His Big 12 experience also included a stint as special teams coordinator/running backs coach at Iowa State (2007-08) before joining head coach Gene Chizik at Auburn (2009-12).
"I have the utmost respect for Coach Stoops and his program at the University of Oklahoma," said Boulware in a statement. "To have a chance to join the Oklahoma staff is an unbelievable professional and personal opportunity. I'm looking forward to the start of spring practice and the chance to work with the talented student-athletes and coaches on OU's roster."
Boulware made no mention of Andersen or his decision to leave Wisconsin in the statement.
Wisconsin opens spring practices March 9.