Gophers Co-Defensive Coordinator to Accept Job at Wisconsin

Photo: Dan Owen - 247Sports

Minnesota Gophers co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach, Paul Haynes, is reportedly being offered a job with the Wisconsin Badgers and new head coach, Luke Fickell. According to, Haynes is expected to accept, which would be a significant loss for PJ Fleck.

Wisconsin is expected to hire Minnesota co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Paul Haynes, sources tell On3.

Matt Zenitz –
Paul Haynes Lateral Move to Wisconsin

We do not yet know what position Haynes will be coaching but Fickell’s staff has already hired a defensive coordinator, which would signal a lateral move, not a promotion.

PJ Fleck talked just last week about embracing opportunities for his assistants to climb the coaching ladder, like Kenni Burns being hired as head coach at Kent State. Lateral moves to rival programs, however, are clearly frowned upon.

“I want to make sure that our people have the resources that they can have where if they do leave they go do something they’ve dreamed of. Position coaches to be coordinators, coordinators to be head coaches, position coaches going to be head coaches. I want to make sure that they continue to really elevate their life, their dreams, their hopes, their aspirations when they leave the University of Minnesota. And feel that they don’t have to go somewhere else to be a stepping stone to go to the next place.”

PJ Fleck – PJ Fleck Show on KFAN (21:30 mark)

Paul Haynes has coached for 30 years, according to His stops include a head coaching stint (2013-17) at Kent State. He was promoted to co-defensive coordinator before last season and he’s been with the University of Minnesota since 2018. The Gophers now have openings at both CB and RB coach.

  • 2022-present: Minnesota – Co-Defensive Coordinator / Cornerbacks
  • 2020-2021: Minnesota – Cornerbacks
  • 2018-19: Michigan State – Defensive Backs
  • 2013-17: Kent State – Head Coach
  • 2012: Arkansas – Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Backs 
  • 2011: Ohio State – Co-Defensive Coordinator / Safeties
  • 2005-10: Ohio State – Defensive Backs 
  • 2003-04: Michigan State – Defensive Backs
  • 2002: Louisville – Cornerbacks
  • 2001: Jacksonville Jaguars – Defensive Quality Control
  • 1999-2000: Kent State – Assistant Head Coach / Secondary Coach / Safeties
  • 1997-98: Northern Iowa – Running backs / Secondary
  • 1995-96: Ferris State – Secondary
  • 1994: Bowling Green Graduate Assistant

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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