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‘I’ve been in that rodeo’: Bielema reflects on Paul Chryst’s firing

A good friend of Bielema’s is out in Madison.

Wisconsin v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Saturday’s game turned out to be the last in the successful tenure of Paul Chryst at Wisconsin.

When current Illini head coach Bret Bielema was at the helm in Wisconsin, Chryst was his offensive coordinator for five seasons (2006-11) before he was hired at Pittsburgh.

Chryst’s firing comes after the Badgers have started 2-3 this season, while having lost the past two games by a combined 55 points. They are also currently the only 0-2 team in the Big Ten West.

They are turning to defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard to take over the duties as head coach for the remainder of the season.

“It’s a grim reminder of the world we live in,” Bielema said. “I’ve been in that rodeo.”

Bielema reached out to Chryst to shed some light on his situation.

“I reached out to Paul this morning and had a conversation with him,” Bielema said. “Just wanted to let him know what I learned through that experience.”