Nov 26, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Wisconsin Badgers head coach Jim Leonhard looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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Reports: Eagles interview ex-Wisconsin coach Jim Leonhard for DC

The Philadelphia Eagles interviewed former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard as they look to fill that same position on head coach Nick Sirianni’s staff, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Leonhard was an NFL defensive back for 10 seasons and retired after the 2014 campaign. Two years later, he was back at his alma mater, Wisconsin, as defensive backs coach and added defensive coordinator to that title in 2017.

Last season, when the Badgers started 2-3, Wisconsin fired longtime coach Paul Chryst and Leonhard took over on an interim basis. After the Badgers went 4-3 under Leonhard, he emerged as a strong candidate for the permanent job but Wisconsin turned to Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell instead.

Leonhard, 40, decided to leave the program after Fickell’s arrival.

In his six seasons as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator, Leonhard’s defenses finished in the top five in the nation four times. In 2021, the Badgers were No. 1 in total defense when they allowed an average of 239.1 yards per game.

The Eagles are seeking a replacement for Jonathan Gannon, who was hired last week as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals — a day after the Eagles’ 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.

Leonard reportedly turned down a chance to become the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator after the 2020 season, choosing to remain with the Badgers.

–Field Level Media

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