Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan has announced on Monday afternoon that he will retire after the upcoming season. Ryan, who led the Badgers to an NCAA final appearance in March, has been on the sidelines for 32 years, including 15 at Wisconsin.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wisconsin Released a Statement From Ryan
The Wisconsin basketball team quickly tweeted out a message from Ryan after news broke that he intended to return for one last season with the Badgers.
Ryan told EPSN’s Andy Katz in May that he planned to stay at Wisconsin until the end of his career:
I’m here at Wisconsin until I’m done coaching. We’re going to be young next season and we will have a lot of work to do. The only people who don’t understand what we went through are people who have never been in that position. To get to a national championship game and be on the left-hand side at the end, that’s tough. It’s disappointing. But there will be a lot more adversity in life, so we’ll be OK.
Ryan, who just recently sold his home to Wisconsin football coach Paul Chryst, had his contract with the Badgers rolled over in April meaning he could decide to coach the team for another year or extend through the 2019-20 season.
2. He Boasts a Dominant Career
Over the course of his 30-plus year career in basketball, Ryan has accumulated an incredible resume. He is one of 40 NCAA basketball coaches to crest the 700-win plateau and is just one of five active Division I coaches to achieve that number.
He also owns the most victories at Wisconsin and, in 2014, led Wisconsin to the program’s first Final Four since 2000, winning 30 games for just the third time in school history.
3. Ryan Said He Hopes Long-Time Assistant Greg Gard Takes Over
Gard has worked for more than two decades with Ryan and was named associate head coach of the Wisconsin men’s basketball program in July 2008. He is also the team’s recruiting coordinator and serves as the director of the Badgers Boys Basketball Summer Camps.
Ryan described Gard’s experience in 2014:
Greg knows why we do drills the way we do them. Why we do things in a game the way we do them. He understands the personalities and the interactions of the players. Greg’s a guy that knows the teams in the league, works extremely hard at scheduling, which is a very difficult job. Scouting reports. He just does it all.
4. There Were Rumors About Ryan’s Impending Retirement For Months
Ever since Ryan and the Badgers were just short of winning their first NCAA title this past season, rumors have swirled that the long-time coach would be announcing his impending retirement.
Still, the news was simply hear-say until it was officially announced by the program on Monday and reporters, including Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, had suggested that the rumors were actually an attempt to deter recruits from going to Wisconsin.
5. Ryan’s Retirement is Not Due to Health Reasons
According to a report by ESPN, Ryan’s impending retirement is not due to health reasons. The 67-year-old previously spent two seasons at Milwaukee before taking over at Wisconsin and also spent 15 years at Division III Wisconsin-Plattville where he won four national titles.
The ESPN report is the direct opposite of what “sources” told Kevin Swiontek earlier this week:
Instead of leaving for health reasons, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman suggested that Ryan was actually staying the extra season at Wisconsin due to his loyalty to returning players and a desire to return to a third straight Final Four appearance.
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