Despite the disappointment of a 20-10 loss to Iowa, much of the Camp Randall record crowd of 83,184 stayed in their seats to watch head coach Barry Alvarez honored following his final home game.
With a stage set at midfield, many speakers came to express their gratitude and congratulatory remarks to Alvarez, who will resign as head coach at the conclusion of the season and concentrate solely on his duties as Athletic Director. On hand were former Chancellor Donna Shalala, who hired Alvarez in 1990, former athletic director Pat Richter; Joe Panos, the captain for the 1994 Rose Bowl championship team and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany.
In his speech, Delany credited Alvarez for his work ethic.
'I want to recognize Barry, not for what he's done,' Delany said, 'but for how he's done it.'
Delany said he credited Alvarez with the reinvigoration of both the UW football program and the conference as a whole.
'There's been a renaissance in Wisconsin over the last decade and a half led by Barry,' Delany said. 'There's also been a renaissance in Big Ten football, in large part led by Barry.'
Panos expressed his appreciation to Alvarez, saying, 'You will forever be our leader and you will forever be our coach.'
'As a coach, you taught us to play the game of football the way it's supposed to be played,' Panos said, 'with great pride and passion.'
Following the speeches, all of those at Camp Randall turned their attention toward the big screen for a 20-minute video tribute to Alvarez. The video included highlights from Alvarez's 16 years as Badger head coach, including everything from his first win against Ball State to the thrilling victory in Minnesota earlier this year. Also included in the interview were wishes of gratitude and appreciation from former players, such as Troy Vincent and Lee Evans, as well as coaches, such as Ohio's Frank Solich and former Iowa head coach Hayden Fry.
Alvarez spoke briefly, thanking those who spoke before him, thanking his family and, finally, thanking the Badger fans.
'I want to thank you, the fans,' Alvarez said. 'I hope the past 16 years were as enjoyable for you as they have been for me.'
At the post-game press conference, Alvarez expressed how hard it is to enjoy a commemorative presentation after being defeated by Iowa.
'It's hard after a loss to sit there and reflect on 16 years and see all the good things,' Alvarez said.
Nonetheless, Alvarez said he was grateful for the post-game festivity.
'That's a hard ceremony to go through,' Alvarez said. 'But I was humbled and I appreciate it.'