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Jim Leonhard Mentioned as Viable Candidate for Big Ten HC Job

The former Badgers coach was named as a possible head coaching option for a Big Ten program by a Fox CFB analyst.



Wisconsin Badgers football legend Jim Leonhard
Nov 5, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Jim Leonhard looks on during the first quarter against the Maryland Terrapins at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

According to one analyst, Jim Leonhard, the respected former Wisconsin Badgers player and coach, is a name he could see as a viable option for the vacant head coaching position at a Big Ten football program. 

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Alabama head coach Nick Saban announced his retirement earlier this week, setting off a chain reaction of coaching movement. With Kalen DeBoer leaving Washington to join the Crimson Tide, the Huskies are now seeking a new head coach. 

Fox College Football Analyst RJ Young thinks that Coach Leonhard, who spent the past season working as an analyst for the Illinois Fighting Illini, could be a good fit and is worth exploring. 

Young also mentions Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, Oregon OC Will Stein, Clemson OC Garrett Riley, and Alabama OC Tommy Rees as up-and-coming options the Huskies should explore. 

Wisconsin Badgers Legend Jim Leonhard Should Have Plenty of Suitors

Since the Wisconsin Badgers passed over Jim Leonhard for the football program’s head coaching job in favor of Luke Fickell, he’s rightfully been picky while sifting through his options.

Leonhard served as the Wisconsin football team’s defensive coordinator from 2017-2022 until he was named the interim head coach after Paul Chryst was fired after a 2-3 start. He would lead the Badgers to a 4-3 finish, keeping the program’s bowl eligibility streak alive.

There have been rumblings that Leonhard is holding out for a head coaching job and has shot down or been dismissive of defensive coordinator opportunities at USC, Michigan State, Penn State, and probably several others, if we’re being honest.

The former Wisconsin Badgers star may also be waiting to explore options in the NFL. Either way, Jim Leonhard has earned the right as one of the brightest young defensive minds to wait for the right situation for him and his family.

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