Bo Ryan couldâ€™ve rode off in to the sunset following this past season and done so at the pinnacle of his college basketball coaching career. However, a man with plenty of experience on when to call it quits talked him out of making a rash decision.
After a few months of soul searching though, the veteran head coach has decided to call it a career following this upcoming season. On Monday, Ryan made his decision known to athletic director Barry Alvarez â€” the very man whom talked Ryan out of a rash decision during the NCAA tournament.
Ryan released a statement announcing his plan, including the expressed interest in longtime assistant Greg Gard taking over the program.
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. Iâ€™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.
Iâ€™ve decided to coach one more season with the hope that my longtime assistant Greg Gard eventually becomes the head coach at Wisconsin. I am looking forward to another year with our program, including our players, my terrific assistant coaches, our office staff and everyone who supports Wisconsin basketball here in Madison, around the state and across the country.
Ryan will leave the collegiate coaching ranks after 15 years at the helm of the Badgers program and a 32-year career as a head coach across all levels of the collegiate game. Ryan spent 15 years at Wisconsin-Platteville, amassing a 353-76 record and picking up four DIII championships along the way.
Over the last 14 years at Wisconsin, Ryan has led the Badgers to an NCAA tournament appearance every year. Heâ€™s also won four regular season Big Ten championships and pulled off the regular season and Big Ten tournament championship double twice (this past season being the most recent).
The past two seasons saw his Wisconsin teams make back-to-back Final Four appearances, including a win over vaunted Kentucky this past season and an eventual national runner-up finish. Those were the culmination of many hard years of work in the NCAA tournament for Ryanâ€™s teams. In the 14 appearances, Wisconsin has failed to get out of the opening round just twice and have made it to the Sweet 16 or beyond in seven of the 14 years to date.
It has all added up to a record of 357-125 overall at UW and a Big Ten record of 172-68 (.717). Ryanâ€™s Big Ten mark is the best in conference history, besting names like Bobby Knight and Tom Izzo in win percentage.
Ryan will spend one last season as a apart of a group of elite coaches, being just one of seven active coaches with 700 wins or more. Overall, Ryan is one of just 34 coaches in NCAA history to reach that plateau.