It was good for the Wisconsin Badgers while it lasted, but running backs coach Thomas Hammock is prepared to test his chances in the NFL. For fans that aren’t aware of who Hammock is, the Baltimore Ravens are incredibly fortunate to land such an outstanding football coach.
Hammock coached Wisconsin’s running backs for three seasons. Over that span, he saw Montee Ball set a NCAA record for rushing touchdowns as well as become a Heisman Trophy candidate. He also was partially responsible for the success that James White and Melvin Gordon delivered over the past few years.
Obviously, it’s no secret that Wisconsin has been known as running back university for quite some time. And the fact is Hammock has been a big part of that since 2011. With that being said, we all have a higher calling and for Hammock that means taking a shot with the Ravens at the professional level.
One of the first things Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said to Badgers head coach Gary Anderson when he hired him was to make sure Hammock stays on staff.
“You’ve got a running backs coach that really wants to be here in the worst way,” Andersen shared what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel what Alvarez had said. “And we should think about keeping him if it is the right fit.
“It obviously was the right fit. That didn’t take any time for me to be able to see that.”
There’s no question Anderson would have loved to keep Hammock for several years to come, but he understands what the big leagues means to the coach.
“He has meant a lot to Wisconsin,” Andersen added. “And let me just say this: Wisconsin means a lot to Thomas Hammock and it always will.
“This is something that Thomas has wanted for a long time. Some people want to coach professional football.
“It has been a driving force of his for quite a few years and it is where he sees the best spot for him and his family, which I have the utmost respect for, the decision that he has to make.”
Baltimore ranked 30th in the NFL with an average of 83.0 rushing yards per game in 2013. That number is pathetic considering running back Ray Rice is one of the best in the business. Clearly, Hammock has his work cut out for him, but there should be little doubt that he can get the job done.