- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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The decision to accept a job at the University of Oklahoma was pretty simple for new tight ends coach Jay Boulware. The opportunity to move closer to family and join the Sooners’ staff was a no-brainer for Boulware, who was born in Oklahoma City and still has family in the area.
Nonetheless, Boulware drew the ire of Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen after leaving UW less than two months after being hired to coach tight ends at UW in January. Anderson was disappointed by Boulware’s decision, saying “I brought the wrong guy in here” and “I failed the kids in this situation” when talking about Boulware’s departure on Monday.
During his first time speaking to Oklahoma media on Wednesday, Boulware had a clear explanation for his decision to leave Wisconsin.
“I told Coach Andersen before I accepted the job, there’s one main reason why I left, and that’s family,” Boulware said, while noting he enjoyed his short stint at Wisconsin.
Boulware told a story about his aunt being hit by a car in Oklahoma shortly after he took the Wisconsin job and his mother calling him in distress because she had no way to get from Texas to Oklahoma to check on her sister. Boulware said he did what he could to help his mother and said his aunt is doing better now but is paralyzed.
“It floored me,” he said of the accident. “So when you have opportunities to get back close to home and be near family, I think most men, when you’re the patriarch of your family, I think when you have opportunities to be around for your family, you have to choose family every time. I live by a creed: It’s my faith, family then football.”
Boulware said he couldn’t worry about what Andersen thinks of his departure because he’s confident he has his priorities in check.
“Whatever Coach A thinks, he’s got to run his program, he has to do what’s best at Wisconsin,” Boulware said. “It’s faith, family and football and I think most people understand that.”