Football coaching staff jobs posted as Badgers introduce Luke Fickell as new head coach

MADISON, Wis. — One day after hiring Luke Fickell as its next head football coach, the University of Wisconsin-Madison opened applications for the rest of his coaching staff.

Job postings for offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, director of football strength and conditioning, assistant strength and conditioning coach, and another assistant coach went up on the university’s jobs site Monday morning. The postings list an opening date of Monday, November 28 and a closing date of Monday, December 5.

The postings are required, even if Fickell and the athletics department have people in mind for his new staff. Last week, the head coach job was posted online ahead of the team’s final game of the regular season against Minnesota.

While current defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jim Leonhard was thought to be a strong candidate to get that job full-time, Athletic Director Chris McIntosh surprised much of the college football world by hiring Fickell, one of the most sought-after coaches in the country, on Sunday.

As of Monday afternoon, it was unclear whether Leonhard would stay on Fickell’s staff as the defensive coordinator or decide to pursue other opportunities. Speaking during his introductory press conference on Monday, Fickell said he was “very open” to keeping Leonhard on his staff, and said he spoke with Leonhard on Sunday night and had another meeting with him scheduled for Wednesday.

According to Badger Extra, assistant coaches at UW have language in their contracts that essentially ties them to the head coach and states assistant coach contracts are up 60 days after a head coach is fired — meaning Leonhard, offensive coordinator Bobby Engram, and others will no longer be under contract later this week.

Leonhard and the rest of the staff could still remain in Madison on new contracts if there is a mutual interest, but it is also common for new coaches in college football to bring along members of their staff from their previous school.