Report: Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard is a candidate for SEC DC job
After moving on from the Bo Pelini experience, LSU is on the look for a new defensive coordinator. As one of college football’s highest profile programs, it’s safe to say the Tigers have the ability to bring in a big name.
Names are slowly being leaked as candidates to fill the position. One of those comes from Big Ten land in the form of Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard.
That’s according to AL.com’s Matt Zenitz:
An update on LSU's defensive coordinator search, per sources:
Arkansas DC Barry Odom is among the early names of interest along with others like Cincinnati DC Marcus Freeman, Wisconsin DC Jim Leonhard and former Cowboys defensive play-caller Kris Richard. https://t.co/iTVvblpm2n
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) January 3, 2021
At just 38 years old, Leonhard is still a young and rising coach in college football. He played at Wisconsin before going on to a nine-year career in the NFL.
In 2016, he joined Wisconsin as defensive backs coach. One year into his coaching career, he added defensive coordinator to his job title when Justin Wilcox left to become the head coach at California. That same year, he was a Broyles Award finalist, which goes to college football’s best assistant coach.
The other names on that list are high profile, especially in the SEC world. Odom is the former head coach of Missouri and Memphis and helped improve Arkansas’ defense this year.
It’s unknown whether Leonhard is willing to leave his alma mater for that big-time spot. It does seem obvious, however, that he is a rising prospect and likely won’t be the Wisconsin DC for much longer.