The Wisconsin Badgers made it official on Monday evening when they named Greg Gard as the new head coach of the men's basketball team. It was presumably a foregone conclusion, given the fact that UW posted the job just under a couple of weeks ago during the season. That fueled speculation that Gard, who guided Wisconsin to a 13-6 mark in the 18 games he coached after taking over for Bo Ryan, would have the "interim" tag taken off -- and rightfully so. Wisconsin has won 11 of their last 13 games heading into the Big Ten Tournament that starts this Thursday, and is ranked No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches poll.
Current and former players took to social media, and even on to the Wisconsin athletic department's YouTube page, to congratulate and celebrate Gard's hiring.
Count the number of former UW players congratulated the former assistant coach in this nice compilation video:
GREAT day for Wisconsin Basketball https://t.co/ciORIacM0e— Zak Showalter (@ZShowbball333) March 8, 2016
Last (but certainly not least) congrats to Coach! Perseverance, sacrifice, dedication. It's a true pleasure to learn from you every day!— Matt Ferris (@Ferris_matt) March 8, 2016
Josh Gasser (@JPGasser21) March 7, 2016
Sam Dekker (@dekker) March 8, 2016
Zach Bohannon (@ZBohannon) March 7, 2016
Brian Butch (@Brian_Butch) March 8, 2016
Fun fact about @CoachGregGard. He's really good at H-O-R-S-E. I'm 0-40 against him. King of the bank shot.— Dan Fahey (@DanFahey10) March 8, 2016
You've seen the wins this season, but from a former player of Coach Gard's (mostly on scout team), he's also done a lot behind the scenes:— Brett Valentyn (@BValentyn15) March 8, 2016
When Coach Gard took over this year, he sent former players a letter telling us how honored he was and how important we were to the program.— Brett Valentyn (@BValentyn15) March 8, 2016
Right after the tough loss to Maryland, he welcomed us alumni at a reception, talked to everyone individually, and said how excited he was.— Brett Valentyn (@BValentyn15) March 8, 2016
Coach Gard works his tail off, knows hundreds of set plays by heart and players love him. Awesome seeing great things happen to great people— Brett Valentyn (@BValentyn15) March 8, 2016