Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard’s profile grew this season as the Badgers’ defense carried the team to a 13-1 record and a 2017 Orange Bowl victory.
Leonhard, a finalist for the Broyles Award, which is given to the nation’s top assistant coach, insisted Wednesday on ESPN Radio’s Wilde and Tausche he’s “happy to be at Wisconsin.” But he didn’t fully back away from rumors of a potential departure:
I’m also going to listen and see what’s out there, see the opportunities that come my way.
That doesn’t change the fact about how I feel about this place. Glad to be in the position I am. Did not necessarily think things would be moving this fast as far as the opportunities. Just taking it day-by-day and enjoying the process.
Leonhard, a former Wisconsin walk-on who became a three-time All-American, played in the NFL from 2005-’14. He finished his professional career with 427 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, 14 interceptions and two forced fumbles.
He joined Wisconsin’s staff as the defensive backs coach for the 2016 season, before being promoted to his current post before the 2017 campaign. His name has been linked to openings at Florida State and Texas A&M this offseason, but both jobs have since been filled.