The Wisconsin Badgers and Jim Leonhard have finally reached a resolution after significant speculation over the past weeks following the hiring of Luke Fickell as head coach.
On Tuesday night, Jim Leonhard announced on Twitter that he will not return to Wisconsin’s coaching staff after the conclusion of the 2022 season, although he will serve as the defensive coordinator in the Badgers’ bowl game against Oklahoma State.
On Wisconsin! pic.twitter.com/lkgkPWmrO1— Jim Leonhard (@jimleonhard) December 7, 2022
Over the past weeks, Fickell had publicly stated his desire to retain Leonhard on his staff, but acknowledged that it would entirely be up to the former interim head coach on what his future holds.
Additionally, it was unclear what Leonhard’s role would look like, given that Fickell is expected to bring along both Mike Tressell and Colin Hitschler, who were his primary defensive assistants last season, raising speculation as to whether he would return.
With Leonhard announcing that he will serve as the defensive coordinator for the bowl game, it is expected that Fickell will be the head coach for the Badgers in the bowl game against Oklahoma State.
Leonhard has a deep connection to Wisconsin, having played for the school, starting as a walk-on.
Then, following his ten-year professional career, Leonhard joined head coach Paul Chryst’s staff as the defensive backs coach in 2016 before being elevated to defensive coordinator in 2017, which was his role until he was named the interim head coach earlier this season.