MADISON, Vis. (AP) – Wisconsin Sports Director Barry Alvarez is retiring after a three-decade run when he transformed the university football team and later led the Badgers to the greatest sporting success in their history.
Alvarez, 74, said on Tuesday that he would end his career on June 30.
“I am honored to be a part of Wisconsin Athletics. I am very proud of what we have achieved over the last three decades,” Alvarez said in a statement. “From championships to campus improvements to impacting thousands of student-athletes, it has been a wonderful journey.”
Alvarez arrived in Wisconsin in 1990 as a football coach and turned one of the top ten weakest programs into his strongest. He became the athletic director in 2004, working in a dual role for a short time, before leaving the post of football coach after the 2005 season.
In the four seasons before his arrival, the Wisconsin football team went 9-36 together. Alvarez led the Badgers to three Rose Bowl titles, making them regular Big Ten contenders with an emphasis on strong defense and quick attack.
Alvarez coached Wisconsin from 1990 to 2005 to set a program record for coaching career success. His 119-74-4 record includes his record of 16 years, plus 1-1 points as a caretaker coach during the 2012-2014 season.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Wisconsin’s other programs have had similar success as Badgers Sports Director.
The Wisconsin teams won 16 national titles under Alvarez, although five of them competed in women’s lightweight rowing, a sport whose championships are not penalized by the NCAA.
These national titles were in six different sports (women’s light rowing, men’s cross-country, men’s hockey, women’s hockey, men’s indoor track, men’s rowing). Wisconsin’s last national title in women’s hockey this year.
The Badgers have also won 74 conferences, regular season or league titles, Alvarez Sports Director. During his tenure, fourteen different teams won conference titles.
Wisconsin rounds out the top 30 in the Directors’ Cup 15 times as sporting director in his first 18 seasons.
“His work here has had a positive impact on the lives of countless student-athletes who have come to our doorstep,” said Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “His leadership raised him և our university և the state. “The legacy of good will continue when the Badgers come on.”
Alvarez emerged as the national leader in college athletics. He was named NCAA Football Academic Promotion Team in 2008 and served on the College Football Playoffs selection committee for three years. He was named Under Armor Sports Director of the Year 2017-18.