CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Former Wisconsin defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jim Leonhard will join the Illinois staff as a senior analyst, coach Bret Bielema announced Tuesday.
Leonard was the Badgers’ defensive coordinator from 2017-22 and served as the interim coach after Paul Chryst was fired Oct. 2 following a 34-10 loss to the Illini. Leonhard led Wisconsin to a 4-3 record the rest of the regular season and expressed hope he would get the permanent job.
Wisconsin hired Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell instead. Leonhard announced on Dec. 6 he wouldn’t be part of Fickell’s staff in 2023, although he stayed on as defensive coordinator for a Guaranteed Rate Bowl victory over Oklahoma State.