By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Ryan has flip-flopped on retirement in recent months, before making it official this evening. The 67-year-old said in June that he was going to retire after this season, but then changed his mind.
But he said that he and Athletic Director Barry Alvarez decided that at the end of the semester — which was tonight’s final game before final exams — that it would be the best time to pass the coaching duties to Gard.
“Greg (Gard) is the interim coach,” Alvarez said. “We’ll make a decision at the end of the year what we want to do as we move forward.”
Ryan is the winningest coach in program history, and guided the team to back-to-back Final Four appearances. The Badgers have been Sweet Sixteen mainstays for the past several years.
He made the announcement after the Badgers 64-49 win over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders at the Kohl Center on Tuesday night. The team will have a week to be guided by Gard before their next game against the Green Bay Phoenix at the Kohl Center.
Ryan has been the Badgers head coach since 2001. A few months after the Badgers lost to the Duke Blue Devils in the National Championship game, Ryan announced that he would retire after the 2015-16 season.
“Back in the spring, in the days after the national championship game, (UW Director of Athletics) Barry Alvarez and I discussed the possibility of me retiring,” the Ryan statement said at the time. “I’ve always been told that is not a decision to make right after a season is completed. Barry thankfully encouraged me to take some time to think about it and I have done that. I considered retiring this summer or coaching one more season.”
He was 9-17 as a head coach in his first season at UW-Platteville Pioneers in 1984-85. However, he never had a losing season since.
At the time of his retirement, he had four-and-a-half years left on the contract that paid him $3 million per year. As a Division I head coach, he had 364 wins, and before his arrival in 2001, they had 426 wins from 1950 through 1990.
This season, the team is off to a 7-5 start.
“Everybody is really invested and that’s what really makes this place special,” Gard added. “The people here are what put us over the top.
“Bo will always be a part of this program… I’m going to make sure I still have his phone number.”
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