By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
4:23 PM EST, February 5, 2014
The Ravens have reached a deal with Wisconsin assistant coach Thomas Hammock to become their new running backs coach, according to sources.
The Ravens beat out two other NFL teams, an AFC North team and an NFC North team, for Hammock, according to sources.
Hammock was interviewed last week for the Ravens running backs coach position.
Pitt wide receivers coach Bobby Engram is among the coaches under consideration for the Ravens' receivers coach vacancy, according to a source.
The Ravens parted ways with running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery after a season where running back Ray Rice fell to 660 rushing yards. Wide receivers coach Jim Hostler left the Ravens to take a job with the Buffalo Bills as senior offensive assistant after not landing the offensive coordinator position that went to Gary Kubiak.
The Ravens haven't made either hire official.
One reason why is both coaches are involved in recruiting and Wednesday is the National Signing Day for high school seniors to sign their national letters of intent.
The Ravens have primarily targeted up-and-coming college coaches for these two positions, according to a source.
Hammock has coached Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist who led the nation in rushing one season, became the NCAA all-time touchdown leader and won the Doak Walker award.
Hammock held the additional titles of assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Badgers.
"This is something that Thomas has wanted for a long time," Wisconsin coach Gary Anderson said during a press conference Wednesday to announce the Badgers' recruiting class. "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. We’ll move on and we’ll be just fine. He’ll move on and he’ll be just fine."
During his time at Wisconsin, the Badgers have ranked third nationally with 5.7 yards per carry, fourth with 121 rushing touchdowns and seventh in rushing yards with a 251.1 yards per game average.
Last season, Wisconsin set a single-season school record with 3,689 rushing yards. And they ranked eighth in the nation with 283.8 rushing yards per game.
Hammock has previous stints as the University of Minnesota running backs coach and co-offensive coordinator and as North Illinois' running backs coach.
Hammock rushed for 2,432 yards as a running back at Northern Illinois where he worked in tandem in the backfield with future San Diego Chargers and Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner.
Engram played wide receiver in the NFL for 14 seasons, including stints with the Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs. He caught 650 career passes for 7,751 yards and 35 touchdowns, including six catches for 70 yards in Super Bowl XL for the Seahawks in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A three-time All-American receiver at Penn State who won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver and caught 167 career passes for 3,026 yards and 31 touchdowns for the Nittany Lions, Engram has coached at Pitt for the past two seasons.
He was previously an offensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers during the 2011 season.