While Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren is far from the most popular person in the midwest’s premier athletic conference, he did make an announcement on Thursday morning that will appeal to Wisconsin Badgers fans. During his opening remarks at Big Ten Media Days, Warren announced that former Wisconsin head football coach and athletic director Barry Alvarez will be named the Special Advisor for Football for the conference.
Barry is staying in the Big Ten!— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) July 22, 2021
During his opening address at 2021 #B1GMediaDays Commissioner Kevin Warren announced that Barry Alvarez has been named the Big Ten Conference's Special Advisor for Football. pic.twitter.com/t7wXz7DDCe
“Barry has been blessed with an illustrious career in college athletics and his impact on college football and the Big Ten Conference has been significant,” said Warren. “He understands the history and traditions of the Big Ten. I trust Barry and we look forward to working with him on relevant football-related issues and building upon the strong relationships we have with the College Football Playoff, our broadcast and bowl partners, as well as our member institutions and student-athletes.”
Alvarez’s tenure with the league office will officially begin on Aug. 2, just over a month after his 32 year (18 as athletic director and 16 as head coach) career in Madison ended. This new gig for Alvarez was reported on back in May by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and is now confirmed.
Warren: "I trust Barry Alvarez implicitly. He means everything to this conference. We're so grateful he's agreed to join the conference ofice." Warren has known Alvarez since Warren was in law school at Notre Dame.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) July 22, 2021
Following his arrival at Wisconsin in 1990, Alvarez led Wisconsin to the first Rose Bowl victory in school history in just his third season as head coach. 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, three Rose Bowl victories and coached Heisman Trophy winner, running back Ron Dayne (1999).
The reason the Wisconsin football program, and honestly the athletic department as a whole, is so relevant nationally is because of what Alvarez did during his illustrious tenure in Madison.
According to Warren, Alvarez will consult on various projects including the potential expansion of the conference and the College Football Playoff, bowl partnerships, scheduling and health and safety issues.
Was able to chat with former #Badgers AD Barry Alvarez on his new gig. "I think I know a little bit about the subject matter," he deadpanned when asked about taking the job.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) July 22, 2021
“I think maybe coaches could feel a little more free to visit with me about some things, some concerns that we might be able to correct and ways we can get better,” Alvarez said, according to Colten Bartholomew’s Wisconsin State Journal article.
With the news about Texas and Oklahoma potentially joining the SEC, as soon as August if some reports are to be believed, the CFP potentially expanding to 12 teams in the near future and major healthy and safety concerns continuing from last year it looks like Alvarez will not be able to ease into his new gig.