Jim Leonhard Will Leave Wisconsin, Luke Fickell Releases Statement

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Jim Leonhard’s time at Wisconsin will end after the team’s bowl game against Oklahoma State.

There has been a lot of chatter about whether or not Leonhard would stick around after Wisconsin hired Luke Fickell. The team’s new head coach left the door wide open for him to remain on the staff, but Leonhard is moving on.

“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 announced Tuesday night.

Wednesday afternoon, Fickell released a statement confirming Leonhard’s announcement that he’ll leave the program in a few weeks.

“Jim Leonhard is the epitome of what we want this program to be about, selfless, hard-working, passionate. I enjoyed getting to know him more through our conversations and look forward to spending the next couple weeks with him. After our discussions, it was decided it was best for all of us to come to this conclusion,” Fickell stated in part.

Jim Leonhard leaving hits hard for Wisconsin fans.

There’s no question that this is a tough pill to swallow for Wisconsin fans. It’s not going to be easy to accept at all.

While Wisconsin fans like myself are super excited for the Fickell era, there’s not any coach involved with the university more beloved than Jim Leonhard.

Jim Leonhard’s time at Wisconsin has come to an end. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

He’s a Wisconsin man, played for the team before playing in the NFL and has been a standout defensive coordinator. It looked like the job was his and all locked up when the Badgers pivoted to Luke Fickell at the 11th hour.

Many hoped he’d remain with the team, and it certainly looked like all signs were pointing for that to happen. However, it looks like no agreement could be reached and Leonhard will be out the door at the end of December.

Jim Leonhard is leaving Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

Jim Leonhard had an amazing run with the Badgers, and he will be dearly missed by the fans. Hopefully, he finds an awesome landing spot, gets his shot at being a head coach and wins a ton of games while making a ton of money.

Godspeed, Jimmy. Godspeed.

Written by David Hookstead

David is a college football fanatic who foolishly convinces himself every season the Wisconsin Badgers will finally win a national title. Has been pretending to be a cowboy ever since the first episode of Yellowstone aired.

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  1. Tough Business. If Jim Leonhard is “the greatest defensive coordinator in the history of football” or whatever hyperbolic title you’ve given him … he will survive just fine. …. Being a successful HC in Big Time College Football is more than simply being popular with the message board monkeys. ….. Not sure how all this could have been handled any better. UW gets a proven successful HC with all the tools to be successful at UW.

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