RB coach Thomas Hammock leaving for Wisconsin

Josh Katzenstein

Thomas Hammock, the last remaining coach from the Tim Brewster era, is leaving the Gophers football program, Jerry Kill announced Wednesday.

Hammock, 29, has served as the running backs coach for Minnesota since 2007, but is leaving for the same position at Wisconsin with hopes of eventually becoming an offensive coordinator.

“This is a situation where the stability in our staff hurt us a bit,” Kill said in a press release. “This had nothing to do with money. It had to do with advancement in his career. Thomas felt that the stability of our coordinator situation meant that the opportunity to advance from running backs coach to offensive coordinator would come quicker at Wisconsin than it would here. I appreciate what Thomas has done for us in the transition and I wish him the best.”

Hammock worked at Wisconsin as a graduate assistant in 2003 and 2004.

“I first met Thomas when I was the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin eight years ago and I have been impressed with his coaching ability and work ethic ever since,” Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said in a release. “He has worked his way up in the coaching ranks and is a great addition to our coaching staff.”

Aside from graduate assistants, director of football operations Dan O’Brien is the only remaining staff member from last year’s team.

Filling in for Hammock will be Brian Anderson, who has worked with Kill for the past 10 seasons and came to Minnesota as the defensive quality control assistant. He coached tight ends at Northern Illinois for the past three seasons and worked with wide receivers and kick returners at Southern Illinois from 2001-07.

“He’ll step right in and be ready to go,” Kill said in the release. “Brian had every right to be upset with me when I took this job and asked him to take an off-the-field position here. But he swallowed it up for the team. I told him if he came here and something like this happened, then I don’t have to worry about the transition.

“Brian Anderson is a tremendous coach, and I’m excited about getting him on the field with our team. We won’t miss a beat with him taking over this role.”