By Adam Hoge –
(CBS) By now you’ve probably heard the conflicting reports about Bob Bostad leaving Pitt to become the offensive line coach for the Bears.
670 The Score’s own Mike Mulligan reported this morning that the Pitt offensive coordinator was expected to be named the Bears’ offensive line coach as long as Mike Tice doesn’t leave to become the Oakland Raiders’ head coach. Shortly after, multiple reports in Pittsburgh said the report was false and that Bostad was staying at Pitt.
After talking to sources from both the Bears and the Wisconsin Badgers — where Bostad was the offensive line coach before leaving for Pitt three weeks ago — I can tell you Bostad to the Bears is not a done deal, but it is a possibility.
One of the biggest issues is Bostad’s friendship and loyalty to Pitt head coach Paul Chryst, who was the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin before taking over at Pitt in December. Bostad took the jump with him, which was hardly a surprise because the two have long been considered a duo when in the mix for other jobs. For instance, when Chryst was offered the Texas offensive coordinator job last year, Bostad was expected to come with as the offensive line coach. Instead, both stayed at Wisconsin.
That’s why my first reaction was to question the report Thursday morning. It would be very unlike Bostad to bail on Chryst just three weeks after taking the job at Pitt. That said, the move to the Bears would likely come with a raise, and a Badgers source told me he would be more likely to take a job with the Bears than one might think.
Bostad has never coached at the NFL level and Tice’s son was a walk-on quarterback at Wisconsin the last three seasons. That, plus the Bears’ close scouting of former Badgers left tackle Gabe Carimi last year, resulted in Tice attending a number of Wisconsin practices in the past and the relationship between he and Bostad grew.
Meanwhile, the denials from Pittsburgh are not a surprise. It’s important to remember that Pitt would be quick to leak denials immediately because it’s January — prime recruiting season. In fact, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette even made mention of the fact that Bostad is currently out recruiting. That’s not an easy task if recruits are worried about him leaving.
The bottom line is that Bostad is a candidate to be the Bears offensive line coach until he says otherwise.
That said, none of this is likely to be resolved until after Tice interviews with the Raiders Tuesday. Stay tuned.
Adam is the Sports Content Producer for CBSChicago.com and specializes in coverage of the Bears, White Sox and college sports. He was born and raised in Lincoln Park and attended St. Ignatius College Prep before going off to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a Journalism degree. Follow him on Twitter @AdamHogeCBS and read more of his columns here.