Luke Fickell will be next Wisconsin football coach, Barry Alvarez confirms

Luke Fickell will be the next University of Wisconsin football coach, pending approval from the Board of Regents.

That shocking news came Sunday and was confirmed by former UW athletic director Barry Alvarez, who had been told the news earlier in the day by his successor, Chris McIntosh.

“I think it’s a home-run hire,” Alvarez said.

Jim Leonhard seemed like the leading candidate to take over after serving in an interim role for the final seven games of the 2022 regular season, but McIntosh pulled off his second stunner in eight weeks: Firing Paul Chryst was No. 1; pulling off a coup and landing Fickell, one of the hottest names on the market after the job he’s done at Cincinnati, may be even more surprising.

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“You know what, I love Jimmy,” Alvarez said. “I think Jimmy would have done a good job. I hate to go there. Jimmy’s done a great job and he’s a great coach. I don’t want to say anything. All I know, I love Jimmy. Jimmy’s done a great job for us, a tremendous job, and I have all the respect in the world for him. I don’t want to go any further. I’m just going to say good things about our new guy.

“There’s a new era and I’m excited for it. Our fans should be excited for it.”

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