Jim Leonhard and the Wisconsin Badgers have officially parted ways. However, Leonhard may not be in a rush to take a new coaching job within the next year. The former Wisconsin Badgers Defensive Coordinator and interim head coach left the program following the bowl game. This came after the Badgers hired Luke Fickell to take over as head coach. His exit contract agreement with the Badgers was made public Tuesday, and it’s pretty interesting.
Jim Leonhard’s Exit Contract Released To The Public
Jim Leonhard will reportedly earn $1 million to not coach. The agreement between Leonhard and the Badgers requires Wisconsin to pay him $1 million from March 2023 through January 2024, according to BadgerExtra.com. On top of that, he also owed personal leave and vacation time. His salary for being the Badgers’ defensive coordinator was $1.5 million per year. The agreement also contains offset language, and that’s where things get interesting.
Generally speaking, offset clauses require a coach to actively seek employment in order to continue getting buyout money. However, that’s not the case with Jim Leonhard. The agreement states that his “judgment regarding what is in the best interest of his family.” Essentially what that means is Leonhard has no requirement at all to pursue any job while he collects his exit agreement checks. Leonhard can take from March of 2023 to January 2024 off to focus on family and find the right coaching location for him. Jim Leonhard has been long respected by the Wisconsin Badgers and fans, this type of gesture by the Badgers is the least they could do. Leonhard has already received a ton of attention from around the nation and even the NFL for coaching positions. There were a few reactions around social media regarding this news:
One year as DB coach to gain NFL experience, then take over as DC???
— Mr. Gratitude (@CounselorMoe) January 31, 2023
Interesting. Another reason he’s in no rush. Happy he’s getting some well-deserved separation money.
— Uno Más 🦡 (@JoRy_MaMa) January 31, 2023
Certainly gives him the flexibility to wait for the job he wants
— Bob (@ajnate) February 1, 2023
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