Bielema hires former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Chris Ash


Head Razorback football coach Bret Bielema has made the first major hire of his Arkansas career.

Bielema on Tuesday announced that Chris Ash, who led the defense for him at Wisconsin, was hired as Defensive Coordinator at Arkansas this week. He will join Bielema’s staff following Wisconsin’s Rose Bowl appearance on Jan. 1, 2013.

“I am excited to welcome Chris to our staff,” Bielema said. “In the last three years working together, I gained a great respect for the way Chris teaches the game and develops student-athletes. I’ve followed his career for a long time, and his knowledge of the way we run our program and specifically the defense will be valuable for us moving forward in our transition. Chris helped us improve drastically in our pass defense at Wisconsin where his defenses consistently ranked in the top 25 nationally in all the major categories.”

Ash spent the last three seasons with Bielema at Wisconsin, and helped the Badgers win three straight Big Ten championships. Ash brings defensive experience from two other schools and has also been a recruiting coordinator three times in his career.

Under Ash’s leadership, Wisconsin led the Big Ten and ranked third in the NCAA with a three-and-out percentage of 41.72, and the Badgers’ 5.23 three and outs per game topped the Big Ten and was fourth in the country. The Badgers’ defense was 13th in the NCAA in total defense and tied for 19th in the country in scoring defense. Wisconsin also ranked 21st in the nation in third-down conversion defense in addition to being third in the conference in sacks and ranked 21st in the NCAA in rush defense and pass efficiency defense and 23rd in the country in pass defense.

Chris Ash Coaching History

Dec. 2012 – Arkansas (Defensive Coordinator)
2011-12 – Wisconsin (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs)
2010 – Wisconsin (Defensive Backs)
2009 – Iowa State (Defensive Backs/Recruiting Coordinator)
2007-08 – San Diego State (Defensive Backs/Recruiting Coordinator)
2006 – Iowa State (Defensive Backs/Recruiting Coordinator)
2002-05 – Iowa State (Defensive Backs)
2000-01 – Iowa State (Graduate Assistant-Defense)
1998-99 – Drake (Defensive Coordinator)
1997 – Drake (Graduate Assistant-Defense)
1996 – Drake (Volunteer Assistant)

Birthdate: Dec. 24, 1973
Home Town: Ottumwa, Iowa
Family: Children, Tanner and Jacey
Bowl Games: Rose Bowl, 2013; Rose Bowl, 2012; Rose Bowl, 2011; Insight Bowl, 2009; Houston Bowl, 2005; Independence Bowl, 2004; Humanitarian Bowl, 2002; Independence Bowl, 2001; Bowl, 2000