After leading the Wisconsin Badgers to consecutive Final Four appearances, head coach Bo Ryan announced in a statement sent by the athletic department on Monday that he would retire after the 2015-16 season.
The initial reaction was one of surprise and, more generally, "oh no." The Badgers have made the NCAA tournament in all of Ryan's 14 seasons and even though Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky are gone, it'd be foolish to suggest Wisconsin won't still be a contender in the Big Ten next season.
But Ryan is 67, after all, and if we're going to have a season-long farewell tour, it might as well come on the heels of two straight Final Four runs.
Regardless, it wasn't surprising to see many current and former Badgers praised and thanked Ryan via social media throughout the day.
I am grateful to Bo Ryan for his service to UW and support of student athletes-wishing him much success in his final season! #onwisconsin— Becky Blank (@BeckyBlank) June 29, 2015
Ben Brust (@BenBrust) June 29, 2015
Huge congrats to Bo Ryan on a great career with the best yet ahead. Incredible coach & even better man. All the best to you Bo! #OnWisconsin— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) June 29, 2015
Former Badger Jordan Taylor joins @gneitzel16 NOW to talk about Bo Ryan's retirement announcement— ESPN Milwaukee (@ESPNMilwaukee) June 29, 2015
Taylor: assistant Greg Gard just as important as Bo Ryan to team— ESPN Milwaukee (@ESPNMilwaukee) June 29, 2015
Forever indebted to Coach for the opportunity to be a Badger, a dream of mine. A legend who taught me much more than hoops. #CheersToBo— Brett Valentyn (@BValentyn15) June 30, 2015
The media also sent in their warm messages to Ryan:
Love what Bo Ryan is doing. Great career. Enjoy life. Allow someone else to enjoy a great job.— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) June 29, 2015
Bo Ryan is the Sinatra of CBB. He does it his way. Even in announcing his retirement. On his own terms.— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) June 29, 2015
Bo Ryan quite simply 1 of greatest coaches ever in B1G. Wis not easy place to win - went 42 yrs w/out even making NIT. Bo 14 straight NCAAs— Dave Revsine (@BTNDaveRevsine) June 29, 2015
Bo - 1 McDonald's All-Amer in 14 yrs (and he redshirted). Duke has had 30 in same time span. Wis 55 yrs w/out B1G title b4 Bo. He's won 4— Dave Revsine (@BTNDaveRevsine) June 29, 2015