Bo Ryan announced his retirement as the Wisconsin Badgers head basketball coach on Tuesday night.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal‘s Jim Polzin, Coach Bo Ryan and Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez agreed this semester would be the best time for Ryan to announce his retirement to give interim head coach Greg Gard an opportunity “to take a run at the job.”
Over the summer, Ryan announced the 2015-16 season would be his last, but the midseason announcement came as a HUGE surprise to the basketball world.
“I’m sure I’ll have more to say later, but it’s extremely difficult,” Ryan said Tuesday night, according to the program’s official Twitter account. “I’ll see you down the road.”
Ryan leaves the Badgers as the winningest coach in school history with 7 Big Ten Titles and 2 Final Four appearances. He’s already being called the 2nd best coach in all of the state of Wisconsin’s sports history (Vince Lombardi).
It’s very fitting that the great Bo Ryan; a man who didn’t necessarily buy into the glitter and glamour of the current state of college basketball, a man that represents an old-school toughness and team-play brand of basketball, a man that didn’t buy into the “one-and-done” mentality of college hoops; retires in the middle of a season on a Tuesday night after a non-televised game against Texas Corpus Christi without any warning or specified press conference.
In a Norman Dale-ish way, Coach Ryan walked into the post-game press conference and said to the Wisconsin fans, ” I would hope you would support who we are. Not, who we are not. These individuals have made a choice to work, a choice to sacrifice, to put themselves on the line 23 nights for the next 4 months, to represent you, this high school. That kind of commitment and effort deserves and demands your respect. This is your team.”
Mic drop………..”I love you guys”.