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Badgers add former standout as special assistant to 2023-2024 staff

The Badgers are making a last-minute addition to their coaching staff with a former player.

The Wisconsin Badgers have brought back former standout Kirk Penney as a special assistant under Greg Gard’s 2023-2024 staff, they announced on Monday.

Penney, an All-Big Ten player who played at Wisconsin from 1999-2003 before an extensive 15-year professional career, aided the Badgers in accumulating two Big Ten titles, as well as a Final Four appearance during his time in Madison.

Penney was the team’s leading scorer during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, both of which came under former head coach Bo Ryan, averaging 15.1 points and 16.2 points, respectively, in those two seasons.

Penney currently is a member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame after ranking second in school history in career 3-pointers made (217). He scored 1,454 points at UW, which currently ranks 14th in school annals, according to UW Communications.

Head coach Greg Gard shared a message ahead of the start of the season, praising Penney’s knowledge and experience.

“I’m excited to welcome Kirk back to our program,” Gard said. “His knowledge of not only what it means to be a Badger, but also his world-wide experience in the game of basketball will be a great asset to our players and program overall. Kirk checks all of the boxes in terms of his knowledge of our program, his mind for the game, his wealth of playing and coaching experience, and his love for the Badgers. I’m happy to have Kirk back at Wisconsin.”

Penney shared appreciation to Gard for the opportunity, and is excited to rejoin the Badgers community.

“I’m thankful to Coach Gard for this opportunity to rejoin the Wisconsin Basketball family,” Penney said. “It’s an exciting season ahead, with a fantastic coaching staff and talented players on the roster. Some of my fondest memories are with this program and I’m looking forward to creating more with this group. My wife, Audra, is also a Badger, having played volleyball here, so it’s neat for the family to be contributing to Bucky’s success once again.”