In a shocking and very un-Wisconsin-like announcement, Paul Chryst is no longer the head football coach at the University of Wisconsin.
Jim Leonhard will be the Badgers interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Wisconsin released an official statement:
“After a heartfelt and authentic conversation with Coach Chryst about what is in the best long-term interest of our football program, I have concluded that now is the time for a change in leadership,” Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh said. “Paul is a man of integrity who loves his players. I have great respect and admiration for Paul and the legacy of him and his family at the University of Wisconsin.”
Chryst will end his tenure five games into his eighth season with the program, finishing with a 67-26 record, including 6-1 in Bowl Games, and the third winningest head coach in program history.
Paul Chryst was allowed to talk to the players tonight and tell them he was out. I can’t imagine the emotion in that room.
I’m personally not a fan of this move, especially mid-season. But unfortunately things like this happen when big money donors want their way.
It’s a sad day for me, and I’m sure it’s tough for a lot of people. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Paul Chryst a couple times. He’s such a great guy, he’s a heck of a football coach and he deserved a chance to get UW out of this hole they’re in based on everything he’s done for the program in his tenure.
Like I mentioned, Chryst is a great coach and an even greater man. I hate seeing his tenure end this way. Chryst deserves better than this.
Unfortunately, too many fans thinks that UW should be in the same category as Alabama, which is an unrealistic expectation, and wanted Chryst fired because of their emotions after a couple losses.
Star running back Braelon Allen took to Twitter and had some strong words on his thoughts:
I know he won’t be reading this, but I want to express my appreciation to Paul Chryst for his 7+ years as the UW football head coach. Paul represented Wisconsin with the utmost professionalism and class and I wish him and his family all the best in their future.
I would not be surprised if Graham Mertz transfers this offseason and the influential boosters that forced this firing, maybe they should funnel more money into NIL to get better talent, especially veteran transfers.
I appreciate Jimmy Leonhard’s willingness to take over as interim head coach and I’m rooting for his and the players great success the rest of the season.
I’ll remember Paul’s tenure fondly. Cheers.
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