Badgers TE Clay Cundiff out indefinitely after injuring left leg

Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY NETWORK
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MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin tight end Clay Cundiff is unavailable indefinitely but hasn’t been ruled out for the season.

Cundiff was carted off the field during the Badgers’ 52-21 loss to No. 3 Ohio State.

In the injury report, Cundiff is listed as unavailable for the Badgers’ upcoming game with Illinois due to an injured left leg. But he’s not among the players out for the season.

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst declined to offer a timetable for when Cundiff possibly could return.

Cundiff injured his leg as he went down after making a catch in the final minute of the first half at Ohio State. As he was carted off the field, just about every Wisconsin player left the sideline to greet him and offer support.

It’s the second straight season in which Cundiff has been carted off the field with a major injury. He dislocated an ankle, broke his fibula and tore the deltoid ligament in his right leg last year in a 27-7 victory over Iowa, knocking him out for the rest of the season.

Cundiff came back from that injury and caught two touchdown passes in a 17-14 loss to Washington State earlier this season. He has nine catches for 142 yards to go along with those two scores.

“It’s tough trying to find words to provide the right context to that situation because I watched him come back last year and just that journey he had to go on from the Iowa game all through winter, spring ball and finally getting back during the summer,” tight end Hayden Rucci said. “I still don’t even have the words. It’s really tough because he worked his (rear) off every day to get back. He knows the journey he’s got again. He knows what to do. We’re all just behind him right now.”

Rucci and Jack Eschenbach figure to get most of the work at tight end while Cundiff’s out.

“It was pretty heartbreaking. I know what an injury like that can do to someone mentally,” said Eschenbach, who dealt with shoulder and quadriceps injuries last year. “(For him) to kind of have to go through that all over again, it was pretty sad to see. But I know him very well and I know he’s going to persevere through and he’ll be back again eventually.”

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”