Fickell to defer to Leonhard for Wisconsin’s bowl

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz.– New Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell will continue to be a presence around the Badgers during Tuesday night’s Surefire Rate Bowl at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix, but not as the guy in charge, he said Monday.Fickell plans to

be on the sideline, using a headset and coaching where he can assist, however he’ll continue to let interim head coach Jim Leonhard handle his duties versus Oklahoma State.

“I’m coaching in a manner that’s letting, truly, these people sort of manage things the manner in which they’ve managed them,” Fickell said throughout the Badgers’ media day. “And they’ve been excellent. They have actually been actually fully grown about it. Jim’s been remarkable.

“I’m kind of a person that simply, you know, maybe a bit more of a figurehead and we’ll communicate with those guys in situational things, however we have actually altered nothing– the method we practice, the method they go about a Tuesday practice, a Wednesday practice, a Thursday practice, a Friday practice, how they’re gon na do game day.”

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Fickell said his communication during the game Tuesday night will be “much various” than it usually would be throughout a game. He’ll help pass on Leonhard’s strategy to the team while trying to keep “whatever as similar as possible.”

“I think that’s the only chance that provides you to be effective,” Fickell said.Fickell, who was employed away from Cincinnati on Nov. 27, made a strategic decision to not take the reins far from Leonhard when he came on board, however he wished to find a way to be around his brand-new team.It was a balance he had to discover.

“I didn’t wan na be that guy that was on the Zoom call while the game was going on, and while the people in your program and group are sweating and working their butts off and things like that,” Fickell said. “And, actually, just with the new age of what college football is right now, and how can you really take care of your program and your team and your men if you’re not around them? … I indicate, if you are not talking to them in this day and age, someone else is, and I do not think there’s any way to keep what you’re doing undamaged unless you’re continuously around them and interacting with them.”

Fickell has been accepting the existing personnel to manage essentially everything. He said he’s been asked who the starting quarterback will be Tuesday night but declines to answer.

“How conceited would you have to be to walk in three weeks and think you know much better about what’s going on within the program, what these people have actually done over, whether it’s a five-year duration with Chase Wolf or perhaps a year duration with Myles [Burkett], to make that choice,” he said.Fickell has been at

the bowl practices, a whistle in tow, senior security John Torchio stated, however has been in more of an administrative function than any sort of training job.Having him on the

sideline Tuesday will be”various, certainly,” Torchio stated.

“It’s our third head coach of the year,” he said. “I don’t understand how many times that’s taken place in college football.

“You just got ta roll with it. That’s simply how the season has actually been up until now.”

Fickell’s future players have enjoyed having him around to get to know Fickell, the individual, and Fickell, the coach.

“It’s cool simply to kind of have him around,” sophomore running back Braelon Allen stated. “Just for him to be here with us and just kind of develop a relationship with him, kind of see what his coaching style resembles, although he hasn’t actually been with the running backs or the offense too much, just kind of being more of a defensive guy.

“However just having him around, having the ability to develop a relationship and a connection, it’s been cool. I’m delighted for him to take over everything and make it his program.”

Being at practice but not genuinely training hasn’t been simple, Fickell said.He has actually taken a lot of notes throughout the previous couple of weeks however included that watching how another coach handles his team could be handy.

“Every practice has been pretty hard,” he said with a laugh. “It’s been hard throughout practice to just, type of, bite your lip a little bit and just keep moving and, then it’s hard, too, due to the fact that you do not [understand the] lingo. I know the defense, however I do not know the defense. So, it’s challenging in those methods because you don’t wish to spend excessive time studying and discovering it all due to the fact that obviously some things are going to alter here in a couple weeks.

“So, all those things together, it’s been uneasy.”

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