Just hours after news broke that Matt Canada was heading to NC State, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema announced Wisconsin co-defensive coordinator Charlie Partridge will join the Razorbacks as defensive line coach.
One of the Badgers’ most talented recruiters, Partridge’s departure could shake up a Class of 2013 commits, most of whom had expressed their commitment to Wisconsin before Saturday’s staff changes. Partridge, who will stay on to coach UW in the Rose Bowl — his third trip to Pasadena — spent five years in Madison and most was in his second year as associate head coach.
“I am excited to welcome Charlie to our staff here at Arkansas,” Bielema said in a statement relased by Arkansas. “He brings a great amount of experience on the defensive side of the ball and in special teams, as well as a strong recruiting background in Florida. Charlie has been part of our staff for the last five years, and his knowledge of the way we run our program and specifically the defense will be valuable as we move forward in our transition. He will also be a key asset in developing our student-athletes.”
From 2008-10, Partridge served as Wisconsin’s defensive line coach, the same position he will assume at Arkansas. He will be reunited with his co-defensive coordinator, Chris Ash, in Fayetteville.
As co-defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, he was credited with developing a defensive line that put together a strong 2012 campaign. The Badgers finished with 31 sacks this year, second to only Penn State in the Big Ten and UW also claimed the conference’s fourth-best rushing defense, giving up 124.5 yards per game on the ground. The defense also had a three-and-out percentage of 41.72 percent under Partridge,’s guidance, third-best nationally.
A native of Plantation, Fla., Partridge was responsible for maintaining UW’s recruiting pipeline to South Florida. After moving to the SEC, his connections and familiarity with the region should prove a valuable asset to Bielema as he attempts to rebuild the Razorbacks’ program in the wake of the Bobby Petrino scandal.
Partridge is the fourth UW assistant to leave since Bielema left the program to take the head coaching job at Arkansas Dec. 4, joining Ash, Canada and wide receiver coach Zach Azzanni. The coaching carousel has likely not yet stopped as linebackers coach Andy Buh is rumored to be on the move as assistants question their future job security and Barry Alvarez continues to interview candidates for Bielema’s spot.