In his first season as a defensive coordinator, Wisconsin’s Jim Leonhard has been named a semifinalist for the Broyles Award, which is given to the nation’s top assistant coach every year.
Leonhard was Wisconsin’s defensive backs coach in his first year of coaching in 2016, and his role expanded to defensive coordinator in only his second year of coaching.
Despite his little experience, Leonhard has led a top-ranked Wisconsin defense that has helped the Badgers stay undefeated through 12 weeks this season. Wisconsin ranks No. 2 in the NCAA in total defense (264.4 yards allowed per game), No. 1 in rushing defense (79.4 rushing yards allowed per game), No. 6 in sacks (37) and No. 2 in points allowed per game (13.1). Wisconsin ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten in all of these defensive categories.
Since Leonhard has been a member of the team’s coaching staff, the Badgers have gone 22-3, and have gone 11-0 with him as the defensive coordinator.
Leonhard is one of the 15 semi-finalists for the award. Here is the full list:
Broyles Award Semifinalists: pic.twitter.com/NQL9Rugjj9
— Matt Smith (@MattSmithCFB) November 21, 2017
Leonhard and the Badgers will look to finish their regular season undefeated and win Paul Bunyan’s Axe when they take on rival Minnesota at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday (on ABC) at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.