Late on Friday night, Wisconsin athletics and UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced that starting with the 2022 season the field at Camp Randall Stadium will be named after former football coach, athletic director and current legend Barry Alvarez. “Barry Alvarez has had an immeasurable impact on the UW-Madison campus and beyond in the state and in college sports,” Chancellor Blank said during the ceremony.
“I’ve said this all along, I got into this because so many coaches touched my life. I love my players. To have the opportunity to see so many players come back, to me, that’s what I got into this for. It wasn’t about making money or having my name on the field,” Alvarez said.
"That was quite a surprise. I'm touched. I'm honored. That means so much to me to have my name on this field. Thank you for this. For my name on the field, that is very touching and very meaningful to me." -Coach Alvarez pic.twitter.com/UedJiAAO6D— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 2, 2021
Alvarez is widely known as the coach who turned Wisconsin football from a laughingstock into the respected, winning program it is today (recent results notwithstanding!). The rising tide of football success helped the entire athletic department succeed and the Badgers now field multiple winning programs across the board.
UWBadgers.com notes: “What was once a department that was in debt and struggling for fan support and to compete in the Big Ten is now a nationally-recognized brand with broad-based success and a legendary following.”
One of just 16 football coaches in Big Ten history to win at least 100 games at one school, Alvarez retired from coaching after the 2005 season as Wisconsin’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 119-74-4. He led the Badgers to three Big Ten titles and three Rose Bowl victories.
Alvarez was voted into the state of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2009, the College Football Hall of Fame and UW Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame in 2016.
Tomorrow we celebrate the legacy of Barry Alvarez— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 1, 2021
Along with our friends at @BMOHarrisBank, we've got some special things planned to honor and thank Coach for everything he's done!https://t.co/R92R692p0M pic.twitter.com/8AhUegFUyN
Plans are for the words “Barry Alvarez Field” to be placed in the northwest and southeast corners of the field when the Camp Randall Stadium turf is replaced prior to the start of the 2022 season. According to UW, “more than 60 donors to date have come together to contribute more than $13 million to support UW Athletics,” so this was also a pretty successful cash grab for the athletic department.
Among the donors are former MLB commissioner Bud Selig, Paul and Robin Chryst, Chris and Deann McIntosh, Joe and Annie Thomas and many others.