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Report: Jim Leonhard turns down Packers defensive coordinator position

Leonhard informed Matt LaFleur Friday night that he will not accept position
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2017, file photo, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard holds a...
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2017, file photo, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard holds a football before an NCAA college football game against Florida Atlantic in Madison, Wis. As lopsided matchups go, No. 4 Wisconsin’s season opener against Western Kentucky on Friday night could provide at least one interesting storyline. The Badgers’ will debut a young secondary with three new starters against a foe that likes to air it out. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash, File)(Aaron Gash | AP)
Published: Feb. 6, 2021 at 10:19 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Reported by Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal, University of Wisconsin defensive coordinator, Jim Leonhard, has informed Green Bay Packers head coach, Matt LaFleur, that he will not accept the same position in Green Bay.

Leonhard interviewed with LaFleur over zoom on Tuesday then again in person on Thursday and turned down the Packers offer on Friday.

Oates tweeted that Leonhard said is was a difficult decision but that Leonhard’s heart was at UW and in college coaching at this time.

“It was me choosing UW. I want to stay at UW. I want to be at this level right now. Extremely flattered. Awesome opportunity. But it was not the right time for me to go back to the NFL.” Leonhard told Oates.

“It was very real,” Leonhard told Oates Saturday morning. “I was about out the door.”

This decision was made on the same night that reports surfaced that the Packers DC job was “Leonhard’s job if he wants it.”

Leonhard ultimately chose his alma mater and his current head coach, Paul Chryst who he has a great working relationship with. Now the Badgers can focus on 2021 where they bring back one of football’s best defensive minds, and nine starters on that side of the ball.

As for the Packers, attention shifts to Los Angeles Rams safeties coach, Ejiro Evero as the next top candidate for Matt LaFleur to pick from.

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