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Jim Leonhard announces departure from Wisconsin

The Wisconsin football defensive coordinator's announcement follows the Badgers' decision to hire Luke Fickell as head coach and quarterback Graham Mertz's departure.

Interim head coach Jim Leonhard announced he will leave the Wisconsin Badgers at the end of the 2022 football season on Tuesday night. 

“After discussions with my family and Coach [Luke] Fickell, I will remain the [defensive coordinator] through the bowl game but no longer be a part of the staff after the conclusion of the 2022 season,” Leonhard said via Twitter. 

Despite a previous report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Leonhard ultimately decided to not remain with the team.

“It has been an honor to coach these young men and thank you to all the fans who supported us along the way,” added Leonhard in his statement. 

Leonhard, originally a walk-on safety at Wisconsin, spent the past six seasons as defensive coordinator and was named interim head coach following the firing of Paul Chryst. He was a strong candidate for the permanent head coach position but lost the job to Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell.

Editor’s note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Sophia Vento

Sophia Vento is the former editor-in-chief of The Daily Cardinal. She previously served as the college news editor. She has covered breaking campus, city, state and sports news, and written in-depth stories about health, culture and education. Any newsroom would be lucky to have Sophia on staff. Follow her on Twitter at @sophiasvento.

Tyler Katzenberger

Tyler Katzenberger is the managing editor at The Daily Cardinal. As a former state news editor, he covered numerous protests and wrote state politics, healthcare, business and in-depth stories. Follow him on Twitter at @TylerKatzen.

Donnie Slusher

Donnie Slusher is the sports editor for the Daily Cardinal. He has written multiple breaking news stories, sports columns and an in-depth examination of race in Wisconsin football. Follow Donnie on Twitter at @DonnieSlusher_

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