MADISON (NBC 26) — After Paul Chryst was fired as the Wisconsin Badger football head coach in October, it seems that Jim Leonhard is set to replace him as Wisconsin's full-time head football coach.
UW officials posted the job opening Saturday night, shortly after the Badgers won over Nebraska and became bowl eligible.
BOWL BOUND 🗣— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 19, 2022
For the 21st consecutive season, the Badgers are headed to a bowl game 👐 pic.twitter.com/qNGjetBUtK
According to the posting, "The deadline for assuring full consideration is November 26, 2022, however, this position will remain open and applications may be considered until this position is filled."
The posting also lists qualifications as, "Minimum of 5 years of successful collegiate football coaching experience preferred. Division I head coaching experience is also preferred."
Leonhard matches the job posting's requirements, joining the Wisconsin staff as a secondary coach in 2016, becoming the defensive coordinator in 2017 and serving in that role through last season and the first five games of this season until athletic director Chris McIntosh fired Chryst and promoted Leonhard to interim head coach.
Proud of this team. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UtDz3DSTNm— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 19, 2022
Sources with knowledge of the coaching search told the Journal Sentinel after the job posting that Leonhard, who is 4-2 as interim head coach, will take over the program.
Leonhard commented on the job in a press conference after the Nebraska win.
“I’ve mentioned it for a long time, I have a lot of confidence in myself because of the people around me."
UW routed Northwestern, 42-7, six days after the firing of Chrsyt.
The Badgers then suffered a double-overtime loss at Michigan State, defeated Purdue and Mayland, but then lost against Iowa 24-10 last week.
Many of the players have made it clear that they believe Leonhard is the right person for the job, and who they want to lead them into the future.
“He definitely didn’t walk into an easy situation,” junior wide receiver Chimere Dike said after the victory over Nebraska. “For him to able to pull a team together multiple times – we went through a lot this week losing one of our brothers. “I’m confident they will make the right decision for us.”
Whatever decision is made regarding the leader of Badger football, there will be no doubt that a locker room celebration will take place if Leonhard gets the job.