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Wisconsin fires Chryst, names DC Leonhard interim coach WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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Wisconsin fired head coach Paul Christ after a 2-3 start in his eighth season, led the school he played in the city where he grew up.

The surprising move came the day after Wisconsin lost 34-10 at home to Illinois and the former Badgers coach. Bret Bilemah.

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“Of course, this is not a frivolous decision,” said the sports director. Chris McIntosh said at a press conference. “It’s not a game-by-game decision. This decision is based on where we are as a program.”

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Christ coached the Badgers in a 67–26 record after being hired from Pittsburgh. But the program has retreated. Krist had double-digit winning seasons in four of his first five years in Wisconsin, while winning three Big Ten West titles. The Badgers have gone 15-10 since then.

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“It’s a difficult time to transition, but I felt it was the right time and that’s what led me to it,” McIntosh said.

Defense coordinator Jim Leonhard, who was an All-American in Wisconsin, was named interim coach. The 39-year-old former NFL quarterback has been part of Krist’s staff for seven seasons and is considered one of the best assistant coaches in the country.

McIntosh said he would do a full coaching search “when the time is right.”

Leonhard said it was an emotional day for him. Krist gave him a head start in coaching with no previous experience.

“This place means a lot to me,” said Leonhard, who played 10 seasons in the NFL. “We want more, we want better, and my goal is to help us move in that direction.”

Wisconsin is playing in the Northwest on Saturday.

Krist, a 56-year-old Madison, Wisconsin native, has four years left on his contract. He was expected to earn $5.25 million this season.

McIntosh declined to give details of the Chryst buyout.

“What I can tell you today is that the number we agreed on is significantly less than the number that was reported, or even the number that should have been paid under the terms of his contract,” McIntosh said. .

The intra-season coaching move was already the fifth this season and the second in a day. Earlier Sunday, Colorado fired Carl Dorrell.

But none of the changes were as unexpected as those in Wisconsin.

The program has been built on stability for more than three decades since Barry Alvarez turned it around in the 1990s.

Krist, who played quarterback for the Badgers in the late 1980s, was Alvarez and Bilema’s assistant and offensive coordinator.

The Badgers offense, built on powerful running play and efficient passing, has often looked outdated over the past three years and has struggled with stronger competition. Wisconsin only managed a 2-yard run against Illinois, the program’s lowest total since 2015.

“The expectation for our program in Wisconsin is to win championships, and I felt it was time to make a change to chase them,” said McIntosh, a former Wisconsin offensive lineman who replaced Alvarez as AD last year. . .

After Wisconsin lost to Illinois at Camp Randall on Saturday for the first time in 20 years, Krist said it didn’t scare him and was looking forward to resolving the issues.

“Do you want to be better? Absolutely. And you just want to focus on what you can do to help move things forward, to help our players and assistant coaches,” he said. “So I didn’t think it would be easy, and yet I believe in this band and I love this band. I understand where they come from and how they do it. I look forward to every day that I am with them.

“We’re getting back together and we need to roll up our sleeves and keep working.”

MORGANTOWN, WV (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is on concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in loss to Texas, coach Neil Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson stayed on the ground after losing by a narrow margin in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38–20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carried off the field on a stretcher. After the game, he was allowed to go home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return to play policy that we have to follow and I have nothing to do with it. All I do is ask a question. They don’t even begin to return to the game until the symptoms are gone.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is off this week and will host Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, October 13th.

COLLEGE PARK, MD – Defender of Maryland Valuya Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother Tua last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comment to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but has not been available to the media since. On Tuesday, he said he was able to travel to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after being hit in another game, but was allowed to return.

“He’s fine, everything’s fine,” he said. “Most of all for me was just to see him and spend as much time with him as possible. I returned on Sunday evening.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates his brother’s support.

“My brother is my heart. He is someone I look up to, who I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just hard for me to see it.”

Tagovailoa said he kept in touch with his mother about the situation with his brother and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family and hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me that he is a big fan of ours and he would rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and went back to my normal daily routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury did not make him overly concerned about his own health when he returned to the field.

“I think when it happens to someone like my brother or when something happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think about how it might affect me,” he said. “I just think, ‘Is he okay? How is he?

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he was healthy and all that, and he is healthy,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.


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