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Reports: Wisconsin fires head coach Paul Chryst

Wisconsin is reportedly making a change.

In a stunning move, Paul Chryst has been fired as the Badgers’ head coach according to ESPN and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The news comes a day after Wisconsin was blown out 34-10 at home by Illinois.

With the loss, the Badgers dropped to 2-3 on the season. A week prior, Wisconsin lost 52-21 to Ohio State in an embarrassing showing. The Badgers also have a loss to Washington State. The team’s two wins this season came against lackluster competition — Illinois State, an FCS program, and New Mexico State, one of the worst FBS programs.

Chryst was in his eighth season at Wisconsin, his alma mater. He won a lot of games with the Badgers, accumulating a 67-26 overall record with three division titles. In recent seasons, though, Wisconsin had slid back into the middle of the pack in the Big Ten. Since the start of the 2020 season, Wisconsin is just 9-8 in conference play. Wisconsin has also lost 10 of its last 15 games against ranked opponents.

With Chryst out, defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard will move into the role of interim head coach. Leonhard, a longtime NFL player, began his coaching career at Wisconsin as defensive backs coach in 2016 and was elevated to defensive coordinator in 2017. He has held that role ever since and has been regarded as one of the best coordinators in the country and a potential candidate for other head-coaching jobs.

Wisconsin’s next game is on the road against Northwestern next Saturday.

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