Luke Fickell will be the next football coach at the University of Wisconsin, pending Board of Regents approval.
The shocking news came on Sunday and was confirmed by former UW athletic director Barry Alvarez, who heard the news earlier in the day from his successor, Chris McIntosh.
“I think it’s a home rental,” Alvarez said.
Jim Leonhard looked like the leading candidate to take over after serving as interim for the final seven games of the 2022 regular season, but McIntosh pulled off his second big break in eight weeks: Firing Paul Chryst was No. 1; pulling off a coup and landing Fickell, one of the hottest names in the market after the work he did in Cincinnati, may be even more surprising.
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“You know what, I love Jimmy,” Alvarez said. “I think Jimmy would have done a good job. I hate going there. Jimmy did a great job and he’s a great coach. I do not want to say anything. All I know is that I love Jimmy. Jimmy did a great job for us, a great job, and I have all the respect in the world for him. I don’t want to go any further. I’m just gonna say good things about our new guy.
“There is a new era and I am delighted. Our fans should be thrilled for that.
A look back at the career of Wisconsin football coach Luke Fickell