Bobby April III is in his second season as Stanford’s Willie Shaw Director of Defense and outside linebackers coach. April comes to Stanford after spending the last five seasons at Wisconsin.

In his first season on The Farm, the Stanford defense had many impressive performances. Notably, in a near-upset win over eventual national runner-up Washington, the Cardinal held Heisman Trophy finalist Michael Penix Jr. to a 56.8% completion percentage, his third-lowest in a regular season game. Stanford also produced a four-turnover game against No. 17 Notre Dame, its first game forcing at least four turnovers since 2019. In a win at Washington State, Stanford held the Cougars to seven points, the fewest in a road conference game by Stanford since a shutout at Colorado in 2012.

April joined the Wisconsin staff after six seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.

In 2022, the Wisconsin defense ranked 13th in total defense (305.4 ypg), 12th in rushing defense (103.2 ypg), 26th in scoring defense (20.5 ppg) and 31st in passing defense (202.2 ypg). April mentored Nick Herbig, a consensus first-team All-Big Ten honoree who was also named a Walter Camp second-team All-American. Herbig finished the regular season as the Big Ten sack leader, totaling 11.0 quarterback takedowns.

In 2021, Wisconsin led the country and set a school record by allowing just 64.8 yards per game on the ground, becoming just the second FBS team since 2008 to allow fewer than 70.0 yards rushing per game over an entire season. Wisconsin allowed just 2.12 yards per carry in 2021, tops in the country and best by an FBS defense since 2016. In April’s first year as defensive run game coordinator, Wisconsin led the Big Ten and ranked fifth nationally in rush defense (96.1 ypg.).

April was an integral part of a defensive staff that produced three straight top-five national finishes in total defense. In 2021, the Badgers allowed just 239.1 yards per game, the third-best mark in school history and the lowest total at Wisconsin since 1954. That was the fewest yards allowed by an FBS team since 2011.

In his first two seasons at Wisconsin, April mentored a pair of productive pass-rushers who went on to become NFL draft picks in Andrew Van Ginkel and Zack Baun. 

Baun carried the banner for the outside linebackers — and the defense as a whole — as a senior in 2019, racking up 12.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss to rank second in the Big Ten in both categories. His sack total, representing the third-highest single-season mark in UW history, propelled him to consensus first-team All-America honors and made Baun a finalist for the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker.

All told, April’s outside linebackers contributed 17.5 of the Badgers’ school-record 51 sacks, which ranked No. 2 nationally on the season.

Despite being limited by injury for a portion of the 2018 season, Van Ginkel led the team in sacks, with 5.5, and finished with 9.5 TFLs among his 60 total tackles that year. Baun finished third on the team with 63 total stops, including 7.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks. The pair combined for 15 quarterback hurries and six passes defended, with Van Ginkel adding two forced fumbles and a blocked kick.

In his final season with the Bills, April coached a pair of All-Pro linebackers in Lorenzo Alexander and Zach Brown. Alexander earned Defensive MVP honors in the Pro Bowl.

Prior to his time in Buffalo, April served two seasons on the New York Jets’ staff. He spent the 2013 season as a quality control assistant before being promoted to linebackers coach in 2014. April got his start in the NFL under head coach Andy Reid, working as a quality control assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles’ secondary in 2011 and 2012.

A graduate of Louisiana-Lafayette, April’s coaching career began as a student assistant at his alma mater in 2004. He spent the next two seasons as a graduate assistant at Tulane before taking a position as inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Portland State under head coach Jerry Glanville, a role he held from 2007-09. He then served as secondary coach and special teams coordinator at Nicholls State in 2010.

April is the son of longtime coach Bobby April Jr., a two-time NFL Special Teams Coach of the Year. He and his wife, Laura, have two daughters, Olivia and Gabby.