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Barry Alvarez set to retire at the end of June

The legendary Badgers football coach and athletic director will be leaving UW on June 30.

Western Kentucky v Wisconsin Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

I have been a Wisconsin Badgers sports fan my entire life and Barry Alvarez has been a part of that for all but four years. He is a legendary football coach, athletic director and is one of the primary reasons that people outside of the upper Midwest know and respect Wisconsin athletics today.

After 32 years at the University of Wisconsin, including the final 18 as the Director of Athletics, Alvarez announced Tuesday that he will officially retire on June 30, 2021.

“I’ve always said that what I wanted to do here was what Bob Devaney did in Lincoln,” Alvarez says now with fulfillment. “I wanted to build a winning football program — and sustain it — and then I wanted to take over as the athletic director and keep making the department and all sports better.”

“It has been an honor to be a part of Wisconsin Athletics and I take great pride in all we have accomplished over the last three decades,” Alvarez said. “From championships, to improvements on campus, to impacting thousands of student-athletes, it’s been a great ride. I’m grateful for the support, generosity, enthusiasm and loyalty of Badgers in the state of Wisconsin and beyond. Thank you.”

For the past 18 seasons, Alvarez has presided over one of the nation’s most prosperous and respected athletic departments. Wisconsin has enjoyed remarkable success during Alvarez’s tenure, winning a combined 16 team national titles and 74 conference regular-season or tournament crowns since he took over. In 2017-18, he earned Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year honors.

“We thank Barry for his hard work, devotion to UW-Madison, and the standard of excellence he has set for our athletic program,” University of Wisconsin chancellor Rebecca Blank said. “His work here has positively impacted the lives of countless student-athletes who have come through our doors. His leadership has also lifted our university and our state. Barry’s legacy will live on whenever Badgers take the field.”

Wisconsin Athletics will host “Thanks Coach! Celebrating Three Decades of Excellence” at 12:30 p.m. (CT) on Tuesday. The event, which will include comments from Alvarez, Blank and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, in addition to a Q&A hosted by “The Voice of the Badgers” Matt Lepay, will air live on Big Ten Network. It will also be streamed live on the Fox Sports app and Big Ten Network’s social channels.

We will have more on Alvarez and his legendary tenure in the coming days and weeks.