Next is why Wisconsin fired Paul Chryst and what Jim Leonhard and Chris McIntosh say

MADISON, Wisconsin — Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh pulled up a chair from behind a podium in a room below Camp Randall Stadium and stared gloomily outside as he sat next to interim football coach Jim Leonhard. As McIntosh began his opening remarks during a quickly arranged news conference Sunday night, he made it clear that his decision to fire Paul Chryst earlier in the day was one that came with deep thought and understanding of where Wisconsin was and where it got it want to go.

“I am tasked with making difficult decisions about the future and direction of this program,” McIntosh said. “And I felt at that point that a change was needed.”

When Wisconsin played its first game of the season 29 days ago, this whole scene seemed unthinkable. Just two days ago, there were many doubts that McIntosh would make a season change at a program that has long been among the most stable in the country and had not fired a coach since Don Morton’s exit in 1989.

But a 10:34 home loss to Illinois on Saturday was the last straw for the Chryst era. McIntosh acted quickly after Wisconsin opened the season 2-3 with losses to all three Power 5 programs it had played. He kept his answers brief and offered little explanation of the specific factors that led to the change, citing only that it was not a game-by-game decision but one “based on where we are as a program. Next is why Wisconsin fired Paul Chryst and what Jim Leonhard and Chris McIntosh say

John Verrall

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