Another of Coach Prime's unchosen Colorado football DC candidates hired by NFL team

Wisconsin v Nebraska
Wisconsin v Nebraska / Steven Branscombe/GettyImages

Another of Coach Prime's unchosen Colorado football defensive coordinator hires was swooped up by an NFL franchise in the wake of Mike Zimmer's Dallas Cowboys hiring as DC: Jim Leonhard is now a secondary coach for the Denver Broncos.

"A little pregame non-Super Bowl news: Sources tell me and Jeremy Fowler that Jim Leonhard is expected to join the Denver Broncos' staff to coach the secondary," ESPN's Dan Graziano tweeted. "Leonhard is a former NFL DB who's well regarded in coaching circles and has been talking to several NFL and college teams."

As The Denver Post's Parker Gabriel shared, Leonhard turned down the chance to be the defensive coordinator for his home-state Green Bay Packers in order to stay at Wisconsin.

"Source confirms the Broncos are in talks to hire former Wisconsin DC Jim Leonhard to coach defensive backs," Gabriel wrote. "Leonhard turned down Green Bay's DC job in 2021 to stay at UW but didn't coach in 2023. Played for Denver in 2012 near end of his NFL career."

Coach Prime gave proper promotion to his Colorado football DC choice, Robert Livingston

Leonhard and Zimmer taking NFL coaching jobs may indicate that it was money that kept both from being on the Buffs coaching staff. In Leonhard's case, he may have wanted to slowly ease himself back into coaching after taking the 2023 season off; though he did serve as an analyst at Illinois.

Either way, Coach Prime gave his actual Colorado defensive coordinator choice, Robert Livingston, a proper promotion after spending nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals; most of them in a secondary coach capacity.

Livingston comes with less name recognition than Zimmer or Leonhard, but he is a well-respected name nonetheless. It probably won't take long for Livingston's legend to spread given he'll be coaching Travis Hunter and Cormani McClain -- ideally to a first-round NFL draft level -- for his first major tasks in Boulder.