clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bo Ryan to retire: 5 potential replacements not named Greg Gard

New, 75 comments

The Linc Darner bandwagon starts here.

If you're looking for a Bo Ryan replacement not named Greg Gard, the No. 1 choice is obvious.
If you're looking for a Bo Ryan replacement not named Greg Gard, the No. 1 choice is obvious.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

After Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan announced on Monday he would coach the Badgers for one more season and then retire, the widespread expectation is that UW will tab Ryan's long-time assistant Greg Gard as his replacement.

I don't think anyone's going to be upset from jump street about that. I mean, if you're looking for the easiest way to keep continuity of the Bo Ryan style, get the guy who's been on his staff for two decades.

With that said, the step-up from assistant coach to head coach is something that provides no guarantee for success. This post is not designed to cast aspersions on Gard as Wisconsin's answer to Bill Guthridge; rather, it's positioned just to see what's out there.

Tony Bennett, Virginia head coach

There are reports that say coming back to Wisconsin would be one of the few ways that the man who brought Virginia back to prominence would leave Charlottesville. Before that, Bennett took Washington State to the Sweet 16. If you can win in Pullman, Was., you can win almost everywhere.

Obviously, his name has ties to the modern era of Badger basketball (as the son of Dick Bennett and an assistant to Ryan), and there would be a lot of people who would be thrilled to see him step in to replace a legend.

Season School Conf. G W L W-L% SRS SOS AP Preseason AP High AP Final Notes
2006-07 Washington State Pac-10 34 26 8 .765 13.33 6.00 9 13
2007-08 Washington State Pac-10 35 26 9 .743 16.35 6.35 10 4 21
2008-09 Washington State Pac-10 33 17 16 .515 11.29 7.50
2009-10 Virginia ACC 31 15 16 .484 8.80 6.93
2010-11 Virginia ACC 31 16 15 .516 6.01 6.55
2011-12 Virginia ACC 32 22 10 .688 12.51 4.23 15
2012-13 Virginia ACC 35 23 12 .657 12.89 4.23
2013-14 Virginia ACC 37 30 7 .811 18.38 7.86 24 3 3
2014-15 Virginia ACC 34 30 4 .882 21.73 7.81 9 2 6
Career Overall 302 205 97 .679 13.47 6.39
Washington State 102 69 33 .676 13.65 6.62
Virginia 200 136 64 .680 13.38 6.27

Data courtesy Sports-Reference.com

Shaka Smart, Texas head coach

Any list of potential Wisconsin replacements will always come with the most famous living basketball coach to be born in Madison. Anyone who brings VCU to a Final Four is a coach that's worth looking into.

That said, this is an admittedly unlikely selection as his style is a strong variant from the way Wisconsin made its bones as a college basketball team. Also, truth be told, he just got to Texas and the level of expectation is to be better than Rick Barnes right now. Bo Ryan's going to be leaving a fanbase that's fresh off of two Final Fours and nearly getting themselves a title.

Season School Conf. G W L W-L% SRS SOS AP Preseason AP High AP Final Notes
2009-10 Virginia Commonwealth CAA 36 27 9 .750 10.23 0.64 CBI Champ
2010-11 Virginia Commonwealth CAA 40 28 12 .700 8.56 3.78
2011-12 Virginia Commonwealth CAA 36 29 7 .806 8.79 0.63
2012-13 Virginia Commonwealth A-10 36 27 9 .750 16.89 4.47 19
2013-14 Virginia Commonwealth A-10 35 26 9 .743 14.55 4.78 14 10 24
2014-15 Virginia Commonwealth A-10 36 26 10 .722 12.79 6.10 15 14 25
Career Virginia Commonwealth 219 163 56 .744 11.97 3.40

Data courtesy Sports-Reference.com

Saul Phillips, Ohio head coach

If we're talking Bo Ryan's coaching tree, Saul Phillips is one branch worh considering that you might not know about. The former UW-Milwaukee assistant went to Wisconsin and served in a more administrative capacity. After leaving, Phillips had success as head coach of North Dakota State, ending his tenure with the Bison in the Round of 32 after upsetting Oklahoma and a 134-84 career record. He inherited a young Ohio team last year and only went 10-20, but he's definitely a name to watch as he attempts to deal with all that MACtion.

Season School Conf G W L W-L% SRS SOS AP Pre AP High AP Final Notes
2008-09 North Dakota State Summit 33 26 7 .788 6.18 -2.72
2009-10 North Dakota State Summit 29 11 18 .379 -8.53 -5.76
2010-11 North Dakota State Summit 29 14 15 .483 -1.54 -3.50
2011-12 North Dakota State Summit 31 17 14 .548 0.01 -2.50
2012-13 North Dakota State Summit 34 24 10 .706 5.21 -4.01
2013-14 North Dakota State Summit 33 26 7 .788 6.31 -0.02
2014-15 Ohio MAC 30 10 20 .333 -4.15 0.45
Career Overall 219 128 91 .584 0.50 -2.58
North Dakota State 189 118 71 .624 1.27 -3.08
Ohio 30 10 20 .333 -4.15 0.45

Data courtesy Sports-Reference.com

Linc Darner, UW-Green Bay head coach

If you want to talk about how to find yourself another Bo Ryan, there are two paths you can take. Darner is the coach with lower-level success that suddenly finds himself coaching in the state of Wisconsin. He took Florida Southern to the Division II national championship and comes to Green Bay with a career .712 winning percentage. It remains to be seen how well he does in Division I, and Keifer Sykes making an exit is going to make his job that much more difficult.

But remember, Ryan was 30-27 at UW-Milwaukee. A mediocre season isn't going to be the doomswitch for future success.

And his name is Linc Darner. He probably fights crime in the offseason.

Season School Overall Conference Standing Postseason
2002–03 Saint Joseph's (IN) 11–17 7–13 7th
2003–04 Saint Joseph's (IN) 15–13 11–9 6th
2004–05 Saint Joseph's (IN) 17–12 11–9 5th
2005–06 Saint Joseph's (IN) 31–3 17–2 1st NCAA DII Second Round
2006–07 Florida Southern 8–20 3–13 9th
2007–08 Florida Southern 24–9 12–4 1st NCAA DII First Round
2008–09 Florida Southern 29–7 13–3 1st NCAA DII Regional Finals
2009–10 Florida Southern 25–5 13–3 1st NCAA DII First Round
2010–11 Florida Southern 23–9 12–4 2nd NCAA DII Second Round
2011–12 Florida Southern 19–11 9–7 T–5th NCAA DII First Round
2012–13 Florida Southern 27–6 12–4 2nd NCAA DII Elite Eight
2013–14 Florida Southern 27–5 13–4 1st NCAA DII First Round
2014–15 Florida Southern 36–1 15–1 1st NCAA DII National Champions
Saint Joseph's (IN): 74–45 (.622) 46–33 (.582)
Florida Southern: 218–73 (.749) 102–43 (.703)

Data courtesy Wikipedia

Pat Miller, UW-Whitewater head coach

Going after the WIAC legend of the last generation didn't turn out too shabby for the Badgers when they last needed a coach. Miller seems like the sort that's going to be the most remembered of this generation with two Division III national titles, four conference titles, eight tournament appearances and a career winning percentage of .784.

Miller briefly played for Ryan in Platteville if we're looking for some kind of leagcy connection, but with him it's not necessary. He's a strong coach at a lower level and deserves the call-up, be it Madison or someplace else.

Year W-L Pct. WIAC Pct. WIAC Finish
2001-02 21-7 .750 11-5 .688 T-1st
2002-03 21-7 .750 11-5 .688 2nd
2003-04 20-6 .769 11-5 .688 T-2nd
2004-05 19-9 .679 8-8 .500 T-4th
2005-06 23-6 .793 13-3 .813 1st
2006-07 18-9 .666 10-6 .625 4th
2007-08 24-5 .828 13-3 .813 1st
2008-09 23-6 .793 13-3 .813 T-2nd
2009-10 23-6 .793 13-3 .813 1st
2010-11 17-9 .654 10-6 .625 3rd
2011-12 29-4 .879 13-3 .812 1st
2012-13 24-5 .828 13-3 .812 2nd
2013-14 29-4 .879 13-3 .812 2nd
2014-15 24-4 .857 15-1 .938 1st
Total 315-87 .784 167-57 .746 ---

Data courtesy UWWSports.com