"That place, probably more so than any other part of the country, you almost have to be from there to get anybody out there," Bielema said. "The East Coast is a different animal."
John Settle found that out in a hurry. When Bielema hired a staff and outlined recruiting areas, he assigned Settle, the program's running backs coach, to the East Coast.
"It didn't work out," Settle said. "I didn't feel comfortable in that area."
Settle, a native of North Carolina, felt like an outsider. You'd think using Dayne, Davis and all the other East Coast success stories the Badgers have had over the years as a recruiting tool would be helpful, but name-dropping had little effect.
"We tried that," Settle said with a laugh. "It didn't work."
Instead of wasting precious time and money on the East Coast, Bielema reassigned Settle closer to his roots. Settle now recruits parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
"You can't force a guy to recruit an area that he can't recruit," Bielema said. "Florida is a little bit different and Texas is a little bit different -- anybody can go down there and recruit, I think. But because of the dynamics and the culture of New Jersey and New York, you kind of have to have a guy that's familiar with that way of life."
Settle has seen the kind of success two of his co-workers have had in warm-weather locales -- defensive coordinator Dave Doeren in Florida and secondary coach Kerry Cooks in Texas -- and believes prospects in his new region will warm up to the Badgers.
"We don't need linemen, so I'm looking for skill guys and already have some good leads," Settle said. "A lot of people are very receptive to the Big Ten coming into there and trying to recruit guys."
As for the East Coast, Bielema doesn't see the pipeline stoppage as a problem. Newly hired tight ends coach Joe Rudolph will recruit Ohio and western Pennsylvania, and Bielema said hiring an assistant with East Coast ties wasn't a priority.
"It would be intriguing, but it's not imperative for me," Bielema said. "If we weren't coming up with a number of skill kids out of Florida and Texas, I'd be concerned. We don't recruit the two coasts; I don't do California and I don't do New York and New Jersey."
Also, it helps not to turn the entire state against you weeks after you take over by pulling a Bosco kid's scholarship after signing day.