A Badgers WR thought Jim Leonhard would be the next head coach
The Wisconsin Badgers football team has been through a lot this season. Head coach Paul Chryst was fired midseason after a disappointing start in 2022. Interim head coach Jim Leonhard rallied the troops. The program earned a trip to a bowl game. It was expected the hometown hero would be named the next head coach.
The Badgers administration pulled a surprise. They hired one of the country’s most sought-after college coaches, Luke Fickell. Many Badgers players were initially upset, and some entered the transfer portal. Badgers running back Braelon Allen vaguely hinted that he’d stay at Wisconsin if the program kept Leonhard. Despite rumors that he entered the transfer portal after Fickell was hired, Allen remained in Madison.
According to Raul Vazquez with Badger Blitz, Allen spoke about Wisconsin’s decision to hire Fickell over Leonhard. He thought the move was shocking:
“I think we all expected coach Leonhard to be the guy,” Vazquez quotes Allen as saying.
Braelon Allen said the coaching hire was a little"shocking" and "I "I think we all expected coach Leonhard to be the guy" but he's trusting coach Fickell and he's excited about everything coach has told him. #Badgers
— Raul Vazquez (@VazquezRivals) December 15, 2022
Change isn’t an easy thing for college football players. Allen and his teammates were recruited and groomed in a system that included Leonhard and parts of the staff that will leave at the conclusion of the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. But change was necessary after the results this season. Allen and the rest of the Badgers should be excited about what Fickell has to offer. He’s one of three Big Ten head coaches with College Football Playoff experience.