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Jim Leonhard joins Illinois football coaching staff

The Badgers legend is coming to the Illini.

Purdue v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images


Seven months after being passed up for the head coach job at Wisconsin, former Badgers interim head coach and UW legend Jim Leonhard has joined the staff at Illinois.

Leonhard will spend the 2023 season as Illinois’ senior football analyst, after leading the Badgers for seven games last season, following the firing of head coach Paul Chryst.

Leonhard, considered one of college football’s brightest defensive minds, spent six seasons in Madison. That followed a 10-year NFL career.

With the Badgers, Leonard's defenses were almost always ranked among the nation’s top five in total defense and top 10 in scoring defense. Illinois’ current DC — Aaron Henry — appears to be excited about the addition.

The best part? The move pisses off Badgers fans.

Illinois hosts Wisconsin on Oct. 21 for Homecoming. Get ready.