Jim Leonhard is reportedly providing a big boost to the Wisconsin football program and Luke Fickell’s first coaching staff with the Badgers.

According to Jeff Potrykus with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the longtime defensive coordinator of the Badgers is planning to return to Madison as a key piece for Fickell’s initial coaching staff. Leonhard originally joined the program in 2016 and served as the DC from 2017 until he was promoted to interim head coach during 2022.

Potrykus reports in his piece that the position is “likely” to be as DC for Fickell. Leonhard is also expected to meet with the team Saturday to announce his final decision per Potrykus’ sources.

After replacing Paul Chryst following his firing, Leonhard took the interim role and led Wisconsin to a 4-3 record to finish the season. It was also reported that Leonhard was going to receive the full-time head coaching job after leading Wisconsin to a bowl game as the interim.

Once Leonhard missed out on the full-time job, it was fair to wonder if he would be back as DC for the Badgers or look elsewhere. He has previously drawn interest from the NFL and as a head coach collegiately.

For now, it looks like he’ll be back in Madison. That’s a huge pickup for everyone in the Wisconsin program.