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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Bye-Bye Barry

UW-Madison football head coach and Athletic Director Barry Alvarez announced Thursday his retirement as head coach and introduced Bret Bielema, the Badgers' current defensive coordinator, as his replacement beginning in January.  




Alvarez said he saw potential for \some slips"" if he continued as both UW-Madison's athletic director and head coach.  




""Both jobs over a long period of time would be difficult,"" Alvarez said. ""Eventually they will take their toll."" 




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Alvarez, who is in his second year as both athletic director and head coach, said he never had a specific date in mind for retirement, but was waiting for the perfect replacement.  




Though Bielema has not held a head coach position and has been with the Badgers just one season, Alvarez said he was the clear choice for the job because if his good rapport with the team and staff.  




""I really felt as I saw him work, that he really had all the qualities necessary to be an outstanding head coach,"" Alvarez said. ""He's a rising star in the profession."" 




Bielema said he jumped at the opportunity when Alvarez presented it to him a few months ago.  




""This job wasn't promised to me when I took the [defensive coordinator] job here,"" Bielema said.  




Alvarez's announcement comes just a few weeks before football players begin training. He said he wanted to ""get this out of the way"" to not distract his players during the season.  




Alvarez added the Badgers will see no changes this season.  




However, he said Bielema will take on his recruitment duties to help adjust the team during this transition year. 




In his 15 years at UW-Madison, Alvarez coached three Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship teams.  




Yet Bielema said he sees potential for the Badgers to improve. 




""I know what it takes to win here at Wisconsin,"" he said. 




Bielema said he most excited about coaching in a renovated Camp Randall, which has seen multi-million dollar improvements in the past year. 




Alvarez, who has a 108-70-4 career record as a coach, will remain UW-Madison's athletic director indefinitely. 




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