The Wisconsin men’s basketball is coming off its best back-to-back seasons in school history with 2 final four appearances and a national runner-up finish this past year. That success can be attributed to Bo Ryan. However, this upcoming season will be the last for the man who is a legend in the Badger State.
Ryan released a statement today saying that he either was going to retire this summer or coach one more year. Athletic Director, Barry Alvarez gave Ryan time to weight his decision and he decided to return for one more year, with hopes that longtime assistant Greg Gard will take over as head coach when he retires. Bo Ryan will turn 68 this year and has been a head coach since taking over at Platteville in 1984. His success with the badgers has been nothing short of outstanding. He is the winningest coach in Wisconsin history and has led the badgers to 14 straight NCAA tournament appearances. Former badger players spoke about Ryan’s legacy today.
“Coach Ryan is a special person and I am very thankful to get to play for him and I know the guys in the locker room are going to be excited to give him one more year on an exciting run. I know they are excited about it, they have to be. And I think the former guys are really excited that coach Gard will get looked at. He knows the way things are done here, Bo Ryan is a special person and coach Gard is a special person and we are excited that Coach Alvarez will give him a look.”
As I mentioned earlier, Bo Ryan said in his statement that he would like longtime assistant Greg Gard to become head coach after he leaves next season. Gard has been an assistant for Bo Ryan since joining him in 1993 in Platteville and followed Ryan to Milwaukee and eventually Madison. Gard has been an assistant his entire coaching career, so if he gets the badgers job it will be his first head coaching job at any level.