Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez Says He Will Retire
Barry Alvarez, the University of Wisconsin’s most successful football coach, will retire from his long-time position as the school’s athletic director at the end of June, he said. Tuesday.
The announcement of Alvarez, who turned 74 in December, was widely anticipated around college and throughout the Big Ten conference, which he helped steer into an abridged football season during the pandemic of coronavirus. His departure will leave Wisconsin without the daily presence of a mainstay for decades, who has overseen huge growth in the sports department and rebuilt its football program into a modern Midwestern powerhouse.
“It has been an honor to be a part of Wisconsin athletics and I am very proud of all that we have accomplished over the past three decades,” Alvarez said in a statement Tuesday morning. At a press conference later today, Alvarez said: “It was just the moment.”
The university did not immediately announce a successor.
Although Alvarez spent more years as the university’s athletic director, his 16-season tenure as a football coach is the foundation of his public legacy at Madison. Under Alvarez, who became the head coach in 1990 and inherited a program that had won nine games in his last four seasons, Wisconsin went 118-73-4. The Badgers have won the Rose Bowl three times during the Alvarez run, as well as a trio of Big Ten championships, and he coached Ron Dayne in his 1999 season which won the Heisman Trophy.
Alvarez resigned as football manager after the 2005 season – although he subsequently coached two games in an interim capacity, going 1-1 – but already served as the team’s athletic director. university. Teams from Wisconsin won 16 national championships as he led the sports department, which has grown into a business that grossed over $ 148 million a year, roughly double its revenue when Alvarez followed Pat Richter into as a sports director.
But Alvarez’s successor will have to deal with the fallout from the pandemic, which has shaken the finances of athletic departments nationwide and led to budget cuts and time off in Wisconsin. Last week, Wisconsin estimated a shortfall of $ 35 million for athletics for this year, a huge sum but far less than the $ 100 million publicly announced by Alvarez last summer, when the seasons outlook football and basketball were uncertain.
The virus has also posed medical problems in Wisconsin, which battled the virus last fall, as has the state as a whole. But Alvarez and other Wisconsin officials were among the college athletes who released regular data on cases within the athletic department. There was, Alvarez said, “nothing to hide.”
“Coaches are sometimes reluctant to give a report of testing, et cetera,” Alvarez said in an interview in December, after other schools, including some in the Big Ten, repeatedly refused to release information about cases. “It’s the old school. A lot of coaches are paranoid – it comes with the business – but we thought it was more serious. “
Earlier in the fall, when the Big Ten looked to play football after initially choosing not to compete in 2020 due to the pandemic, Alvarez played an inordinate role and led the committee that weighed in on potential approaches. of the programming of the matches.
Alvarez is the latest conference figure to take the day off. Jim Delany, the league’s commissioner for more than two decades, retired in early 2020. And James J. Phillips, Northwestern’s athletic director since 2008, recently became the commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
But on Tuesday, Alvarez left open a possibility of a comeback.
“I’m still available,” he said, “to come back from retirement and coach in a bowl game. “
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