Wisconsin fires coach Paul Chryst after 2-3 start
Wisconsin fired head coach Paul Chryst after seven-plus seasons, the team announced Sunday.
Wisconsin's decision to part ways with the 56-year-old comes a day after the Badgers lost to Illinois 34-10, dropping to 2-3 this year.
"After a heartfelt and authentic conversation with coach Chryst about what is in the long-term best interest of our football program, I have concluded that now is the time for a change in leadership," athletic director Chris McIntosh said in a statement.
The Badgers posted a 67-26 record under Chryst, including a 6-1 mark in bowl games. The two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year also helped the team win three division titles (2016, 2017, and 2019).
Chryst, who last year signed an extension through January 2026, joined Wisconsin after coaching Pittsburgh from 2012-14. Chryst's buyout is $16.4 million if he's fired without cause, but a different settlement could be negotiated, according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.
Chryst is the fifth head coach from a Power 5 school to be fired this year, joining Scott Frost (Nebraska), Herm Edwards (Arizona State), Geoff Collins (Georgia Tech), and Karl Dorrell (Colorado).
Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard will take over as the Badgers' interim head coach. Leonhard is in his seventh season on Wisconsin's coaching staff.
"I also have confidence in Jim Leonhard to guide the program for the remainder of the season. There is still a lot of season left to play, and I know Jim will do a great job while the program is under his leadership," McIntosh said.
Wisconsin visits Northwestern on Saturday.