Report: Wisconsin DC turns down Green Bay Packers, staying with Badgers
The brilliant defensive mind of Jim Leonhard is going to cause havoc for B1G offensive coordinators for at least a little bit longer.
Saturday morning, Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal reported that Leonhard has informed Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur that he will not accept the defensive coordinator job with the franchise. The Wisconsin assistant was considered a strong candidate and interviewed for the vacancy.
Per Oates, Leonhard’s “heart was at UW and in college coaching at this time.” Leonhard, a former Wisconsin defensive back, has been on Paul Chryst’s staff in Madison since the 2016 season, when he was the DBs coach for the Badgers. In 2017, he was named the team’s defensive coordinator while still coaching the secondary.
After careful consideration, University of #Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonard informed #Pqckers coach Matt LaFleur Friday night that he will not accept the same position in Green Bay, according to Leonhard and his agent, Tim Valentyn of Madison. (More to come)
— Tom Oates (@TomOatesWSJ) February 6, 2021
Because of Wisconsin’s regular dominance on the defensive side of the football, Leonhard’s name is often mentioned as a candidate for other defensive coordinator positions or head coaching jobs. However, the gig in Green Bay felt like the one that could potentially lure Leonhard away from his alma mater. That doesn’t seem to be the case.
In 2020, the Badgers allowed just 17.4 points per game for the year, ranking 3rd in the B1G. Since Leonhard took over as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, the defense has been one of the B1G’s best against the run. Only once over the last four seasons have the Badgers allowed an average of more than 100 yards per game on the ground.
Wisconsin’s run defense ranked first in the B1G in 2020, allowing just 96.1 yards per contest.