Wisconsin co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Colin Hitschler is leaving for a job on Kalen DeBoer’s staff at Alabama, according to a report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

Hitschler spent the 2023 season at Wisconsin on Luke Fickell’s staff. He worked with Fickell at Cincinnati from 2018-22, working his way up from a quality control assistant to the role of co-defensive coordinator in 2022. He was one of 247Sports’ top 30 recruiters during the 2024 cycle, credited with helping secure seven of Wisconsin’s 22 signees.

It’s not immediately clear what role Hitschler will have on DeBoer’s staff.

Hitschler, a Penn grad, was a graduate assistant working for Arkansas State and South Alabama in 2013 and 2014, respectively. In 2015, he moved into an off-field role as South Alabama’s director of football operations for two years. In 2017, he coached the Jags’ safeties.

Then he joined Fickell at Cincinnati in 2018 as a quality control assistant. A year later, he moved into a role as a senior defensive analyst, and a year after that he took over as Cincy’s safeties coach. During his first year coaching the Bearcats’ safeties, Cincinnati gave up only seven passing touchdowns in 10 games — the 12th-fewest of any FBS team that year.

In 2022, he received the co-coordinator title in addition to his positional responsibilities.

“I would tell you that the greatest thing is he can internalize. He can take some constructive criticism and he finds ways to continue to get better,” Fickell told The Athletic’s Jess Temple for a profile on Hitschler last August. “Where he was even seven years ago when we first kind of met to where he is now, it’s awesome for him. It says a lot about him. I’m not saying he was bad when he got here and we made him. But the way that he’s kind of developed as a coach and a recruiter is really unbelievable.”

Hitschler worked with new defensive coordinator Kane Wommack at South Alabama from 2016-17. DeBoer has also hired Maurice Linguist as his new secondary coach and retained Freddie Roach as the program’s defensive line coach.