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Wisconsin men’s basketball: Greg Gard hires new director of recruiting

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Kyle Blackbourn, entering his sixth season with the program, has been hired as director of recruiting and scouting.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Nebraska Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team has hired a new director of recruiting and scouting. Kyle Blackbourn, who has been the team’s assistant director of basketball operations since joining the Wisconsin staff in 2016, will now assume a new role for the 2021-22 season.

In his new role as director of recruiting and scouting, Blackbourn will direct recruiting oversight, scouting, on-campus visits, recruit evaluation, while also assisting head coach Greg Gard and the coaching staff. The Badgers are about to have a couple of small classes in the next two cycles (2022 and 2023) so the need to identify talent that fits what the program is looking for will be crucial.

“Recruiting in college basketball is as important as ever and having Kyle in this position makes Wisconsin Basketball stronger as a program,” Gard said. “Kyle’s work ethic and understanding of all the facets of college basketball – coaching, operations, recruiting – makes him an ideal fit. He knows what has made Wisconsin so successful and will help us remain at that elite level.”

Here is Blackbourn’s bio, per UWBadgers.com:

A native of Shullsburg, Wisconsin, Blackbourn spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach with the Rockhurst University men’s basketball program after spending the previous season as the head coach at Delta College in University Center, Michigan. During his season atop the Delta program, Blackbourn led the Pioneers to a 19-13 overall record and a third-place finish in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association.

Prior to leading Delta College, Blackbourn spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas after serving in the same role at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa in 2011-12. Blackbourn broke into collegiate athletics as an assistant with Clarke University women’s basketball program in 2010-11.

Blackbourn’s coaching career began as an assistant coach at Scales Mound (Ill.) High School during the 2006-07 season before spending three seasons as the head boys varsity assistant at Shullsburg (Wis.) High School.

Blackbourn earned a physical education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, while also obtaining a minor in health education, a certificate in adapted physical education and an endorsement in coaching. He received his master’s degree in educational leadership from Benedictine College in the summer of 2014.

“I am extremely grateful and excited for this new opportunity,” Blackbourn said. “I want to thank Coach Gard and the entire staff for allowing me to step into this new role. Wisconsin Basketball is a special program, with outstanding people. To continue to serve our student-athletes and staff on a daily basis is a blessing.”