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Wisconsin DC Jim Leonhard Won’t Return After Bowl Game

Sports Illustrated 12/7/2022 Joseph Salvador
© Provided by Sports Illustrated

He said the decision was made after speaking with the team’s new coach.

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On Tuesday, Wisconsin interim coach and defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard announced that he will not return to the program after this season.  

“It has meant the world to me to be able to pour my heart and soul into the UW Football program over the last 7 years,” Leonhard wrote in a statement. “After discussions with my family and Coach Fickell, I will remain the DC through the bowl game but no longer be a part of the staff after the conclusion of the 2022 season. It has been an honor to coach these young men and thank you to all the fans who supported us along the way. On Wisconsin!”

Leonhard was appointed interim coach after the Badgers fired Paul Chryst on Oct. 2 after a 2–3 start to the year. Since being hired in 2015, Chryst accumulated a 67–26 record and won the division three times. Wisconsin won all but one bowl game during Chryst’s reign, but the squad never won the Big Ten.

Since taking over, Leonhard and the Badgers have a 4–3 record, but the program elected to hire Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell to take over the program and it appears that Leonhard will not be a part of his staff. 

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