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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, May 20, 2024
Barry Alvarez

Football: Alvarez to coach Badgers in Rose Bowl

If it was not for a meeting put together by team captains following the news that former head coach Bret Bielema had bolted to Arkansas, Barry Alvarez would still be carrying out normal duties of Director of Athletics and searching for a new head football coach. Now, Alvarez’s next month will be even busier.

Senior linebacker Mike Taylor and senior quarterback Curt Phillips took to contacting the Rose Bowl Hall of Famer and winner of three Rose Bowls in hopes of getting him on the sideline one last time.

Apparently the meeting lacked any sort of opposition.

“I think that was the first thought on everybody’s mind,” Taylor said. “It just seemed like the best idea.”

“I just spoke from the heart to let him know that he was the best person to coach us in the Rose Bowl.”

Alvarez admitted Bielema’s departure was rather sudden and surprising—he was met with several missed calls after finishing breakfast in New York Tuesday morning—but gladly accepted the offer.

“I told [Taylor] I would be honored to coach them, and I wanted them to understand if I were going to coach, we weren’t going to screw around,” he said. “We were going to go out there to win.”

Alvarez won the Rose Bowl in each of his three appearances—in 1994, 1999 and 2000.

Alvarez also eliminated the possibility of having former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst—who is in his first year as head coach at Pittsburgh—returning to lead the Badgers.

It turns out that Alvarez used a couple “very good friends” to help Chryst land the Pitt job last winter.

“I wouldn’t feel right, and I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to hire him back after I asked someone to do me a favor and help him get that job,” Alvarez said. “So Paul’s going to stay at Pitt.”

While Chryst won’t be taking the job, Alvarez said there was is indeed heavy interst in the positon.

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“There’s been a lot of interest shown in the position because it’s a great job,” he said. “It’s on solid footing, new facilities, and a very good nucleus coming back.  But there’s been a lot of people that have contacted me with interest in it.”

Taylor and Phillips said they already feel a difference surrounding the team now that Alvarez will be leading the way.

“It kind of brings a new motivation, a new feeling in the locker room,” Taylor said.

“I don’t think there could be any more motivation at this point,” Phillips said.

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