UW: Chryst out at Badger football coach, Jim Leonhard will take over

Chryst finished seven full seasons at Wisconsin, tallying a 67-26 record
Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst during the first half of an NCAA college football game against...
Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Nebraska Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)(Andy Manis | AP)
Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - Wisconsin Athletic Director Chris McIntosh announced Sunday that Jim Leonhard will be taking over for previous Wisconsin Football head coach Paul Chryst.

Chryst was in his eighth season as the Badgers’ head coach as the announcement was made.

“After a heartfelt and authentic conversation with Coach Chryst about what is in the long-term best interest of our football program, I have concluded that now is the time for a change in leadership,” McIntosh said. “Paul is a man of integrity who loves his players. I have great respect and admiration for Paul and the legacy of him and his family at the University of Wisconsin.”

Throughout his time as head coach, Chryst led the Badgers to a 67-26 record, with a 43-18 mark in Big Ten Conference play, according to Wisconsin Athletics. Chryst took the team to a 6-1 mark in bowl games, including two New Year’s Six victories. He was also able to guide the team to three West Division titles.

Leonhard, the new interim head coach, is in his seventh season as the defensive coordinator for the Badgers. McIntosh said that in his time at Wisconsin, he has overseen one of the best defensive units in college football.

“I also have confidence in Jim Leonhard to guide the program for the remainder of the season. There is still a lot of season left to play and I know Jim will do a great job while the program is under his leadership,” McIntosh added.

As an All-American safety for the Badgers, Leonhard set the school record with 21 career interceptions. He wasn’t drafted with the NFL but played with Buffalo, Baltimore, the New York Jets, Denver, New Orleans and Cleveland. He played in 142 games as a pro, starting 73 of them, officials said.

In a tweet early Sunday evening, ESPN reporter Adam Rittenburg said a source said Paul Chryst will no longer be the Wisconsin Badgers’ head coach.

The Badgers are on the road next weekend at Northwestern.