Jim Leonhard to return to coaching role in 2024, per report
Jim Leonhard is reportedly returning to a coaching role during the 2024 season, but he will not make that return in the college ranks.
According to a joint report from ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler, Leonhard is heading to the NFL and will serve as the defensive backs coach for the Denver Broncos. Graziano cited Leonhard has been talking to “several” teams across the NFL and college ranks after spending last season as an analyst for Bret Bielema’s staff at Illinois.
A little pregame non-Super Bowl news: Sources tell me and @JFowlerESPN that Jim Leonhard is expected to join the Denver Broncos’ staff to coach the secondary. Leonhard is a former NFL DB who’s well regarded in coaching circles and has been talking to several NFL and college teams
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) February 11, 2024
The Broncos are 1 of 5 NFL teams Leonhard played for during his 10-year NFL career. He eventually returned to Wisconsin as the defensive backs coach in 2016 and added the defensive coordinator role in 2017.
Following Paul Chryst’s firing in 2022, Leonhard would serve as the interim coach to finish the season but was not given the permanent job in Madison. Instead, Luke Fickell was hired and Leonhard opted not to return as an assistant under Fickell.