How Wisconsin alum Jim Leonhard has transformed the Badgers’ D in his first season as Defensive Coordinator

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Jim Leonhard's impact on the Wisconsin defense

[MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 1: They're the number 1 defense in the entire country. It's suffocating, folks.

INTERVIEWER: How did you get back into coaching? Is it something you always wanted to do?

- I kind of always felt I might end up down this path, grew up in a houseful of coaches. To get the opportunity in year 2 do this is pretty special.

ANNOUNCER 2: Blitz. Down goes Thorson again. Jim Leonard dials up the pressure.

- What do you know about his story?

- Well, I know he played here. He's very successful here.

- You look at him, he just doesn't look like he can do much. But then, man, once you throw on that film, it's a whole different person.

ANNOUNCER 3: Leonard at 5' 8", the best athlete on the team.

BAND: (SINGING) And nothing's gonna stop me now.

- What stands out in his coaching style?

- He just brings swag. We call it "sauce."

- He's something that kind of all the guys bought into right when he came here. And that's kind of paid off for us as a defense.

ANNOUNCER 1: When this defense starts flying around, it is so impressive.

- I wouldn't want to play for anyone else as a defensive coordinator. That trust that he has in us, and the trust we have in him, it just kind of works hand in hand where we know that he's going to call the perfect play.

ANNOUNCER 4: The heat again, and he's sacked.

ANNOUNCER 5: Jim Leonard with a nice call.


BAND: (SINGING) And nothing's gonna stop me now.

INTERVIEWER: What's the message this week ahead of the Big 10 championship, and really a win and you're in to the playoff?

- Enjoy it. You know, you're doing something special. Embrace it, look around, take it all in. And then go do what you've done the rest of the year.