MADISON -- Bo Ryan is retiring as the Wisconsin Badgers' men's basketball head coach in his 15th season, he announced Tuesday at the Kohl Center.
Associate head coach Greg Gard will take over as interim coach for Wisconsin's next game, effective immediately. The announcement followed the Badgers' 64-49 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
"After months of conversation with (Wisconsin athletic director) Barry Alvarez and his administrative staff, as well as my wife, Kelly, I have decided that now is the right time to step down from the head coaching position here at Wisconsin," Ryan said.
Initially, Ryan announced he would be returning for one more season in June.
"This was a decision months in the making," Ryan said. "I brought this up to Barry back in April. He advised me to take some time to think it over and I appreciated that.
"But in recent weeks, I have come to the conclusion that now is the right time for me to retire and for Greg Gard to have the opportunity to coach the team for the remainder of the season."
Ryan, 67, is the all-time leader in victories at Wisconsin. His 71.7 percent winning percentage in Big Ten play (172-68) is the best mark in conference history.
A four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year with Wisconsin, Ryan won four national championships as head coach at UW-Platteville. With a career record of 747-233 (.762), Ryan finishes his career ranked 27th on the NCAA's all-time wins list.
Ryan led the Badgers to consecutive Final Four appearances in 2014 and 2015, with Wisconsin making the national championship game in the latter.
The Badgers received the news from Ryan in the locker room after their victory over the Islanders.
"It's extremely hard telling the players, as you can imagine," Ryan said. "It's hard to put that into words."
Ryan prepared a statement, but opted to speak without reading from it once.
"It is so emotional right now," Ryan said. "I'm trying to hold this together."
After Ryan spoke, Gard and Alvarez addressed the media.
"This is Bo's last game," Alvarez confirmed. "Greg will take the team from now on."
Gard will serve as the interim coach for the remainder of the 2015-16 season without a guarantee for the position beyond that.
"I've never had more than a one-year contract, in my entire career," Gard said. "For me, it's never been about the pressure in that way."
Gard's first game at the helm will come Dec. 23 when the Badgers host UW-Green Bay.