Jim Leonhard is not returning to Wisconsin.

As it turns out, Jim Leonhard will not be returning to Wisconsin.

Numerous reports over the weekend claimed that Leonhard has decided to come back to Wisconsin as defensive coordinator but those reports weren’t verified by the university or Leonhard himself.

This is a massive blow for the Badgers as they have lost seven guys to the transfer portal, and with Leonhard’s departure, that number will likely increase.

Leonhard’s departure doesn’t surprise me because he’s proven over seven games that he’s a capable head coach, and while it won’t be at Wisconsin, he will have offers elsewhere.

Leonhard and Luke Fickell also have different defensive philosophies. Fickell employs a 3-3-5 (three down linemen, three linebackers, and five defensive backs.) Leonhard, meanwhile, ran a 3-4. (Three down linemen and four linebackers).

It wouldn’t have made sense for Leonhard to return if he couldn’t run the defense he wanted to run.

Fickell’s defensive scheme has more of a focus on cornerbacks, and Leonhard’s scheme has more of a focus on linebackers. With both employing a different defensive philosophy, it would be tough to ask Leonhard to return.

But I want to say: Good luck to Jim Leonhard with whatever he decides to do. His seven-game tenure as an interim head coach proved he should be a head coach soon.

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