Colorado football defensive coordinator rumored to be Mike Zimmer or Jim Leonhard, fans want NFL coaching legend

USC v Colorado
USC v Colorado / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

Colorado football is seemingly set to name a defensive coordinator on February 7, and the two major rumored names for the job include long-time Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and former Wisconsin defensive coordinator/interim head coach Jim Leonhard.

"Coach Prime has revealed that Colorado will announce a major surprise tomorrow... It's widely believed that the announcement will be Colorado's Defensive Coordinator for next season, & fans should expect a big name hire," wrote the Blue Bloods Bias X account. "According to the text message chain posted by Deion, this announcement has been 'months in the making,' and there's a lot of excitement for this reveal...

"If the announcement is the DC, there is speculation that it will be a NFL guy such as Mike Zimmer, or a stud College DC like Jim Leonhard. With the former NFL Players & Coaches that Coach Prime is bringing to Boulder, this would become the most prolific Staff in the entire Big-12."

Leonhard is a rising star in the coaching ranks, while Zimmer has 43+ years of coaching experience and experience working for Deion Sanders as an analyst at Jackson State during the 2022 season. Still, though, fans would prefer an NFL legend with six Super Bowl victories as head coach and two as a defensive coordinator.

Bill Belichick the most popular candidate for Colorado football defensive coordinator

The most commonly suggested candidate for Colorado's defensive coordinator opening under Blue Blood Bias's post was none other than former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick; who recently left the Patriots organization after serving as their head coach since 2000.

Belichick has never coached at the collegiate level, though he has been continuously coaching for nearly 50 years. While many have questioned his staff-building methods in New England the last several seasons following Tom Brady's departure, such worries wouldn't exist with less responsibilities as a defensive coordinator in Boulder.

While Coach Prime may not get what he wants across the board -- his suggestion to hire Warren Sapp has seemingly been vetoed by CU's administrative brain trust -- landing a legend like Belichick, at likely a non-bargain rate, would show just how committed Colorado is to seeing Sanders win.