The Wisconsin Badgers deviated from tradition and hired Luke Fickell as Head Coach. History has shown that Wisconsin tends to hire coaches with previous ties to the University. Many believed this would be the case again following the firing of coach Paul Chryst midseason. Jim Leonhard played football at Wisconsin and has made it clear over the years how much he loves the program. Leonhard took over as interim head coach and led the Badgers to a 6-6 record. To say that it was a shock that Leonhard was not retained as coach would be an understatement. However, the hiring of Fickell shows that Wisconsin desires to take the program to a championship level. Former Badger JJ Watt certainly had some things to say regarding this hire.
JJ Watt Has Strong Words For Wisconsin After Hiring Luke Fickell
After hearing the news of Wisconsin passing on Jim Leonhard and going with Luke Fickell as their next head coach, JJ Watt took to social media to talk about how he felt.
Jim Leonhard is one of the greatest and most beloved Badgers of all time. Really feel for him in this process. He represents everything great about Wisconsin.
At the same time, incredibly excited about the Luke Fickell hire and the message it sends about our goals and expectations.
Here is the full tweet:
Jim Leonhard is one of the greatest & most beloved Badgers of all time. Really feel for him in this process. He represents everything great about Wisconsin.
At the same time, incredibly excited about the Luke Fickell hire and the message it sends about our goals & expectations.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) November 28, 2022
A player like JJ Watt endorsing this type of hire in the midst of one of his favorite coaches of all time being passed up, is telling. Luke Fickell brings a championship mindset to Madison that the Badgers haven’t seen in a long time. Many fans and former players both feel for Jim Leonhard in this situation, but are still excited to see what Fickell brings.
Make no mistake, more talent is going to come to Wisconsin because of Luke Fickell. It may not be an immediate surge of recruits (though don’t count that out) but over time Wisconsin will see more talent come to the program. Wisconsin is one of the premiere Big Ten destinations. It has a long history of fun traditions and cultivating NFL talent. Fickell simply looks to build on that.
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