Last year Bo Ryan, former head coach of the badgers, announced 12 games into the season that he would be stepping down. After 15 seasons as head coach badger fans were heart broken and many thought their season would go down the drain. They already had a rough start losing 4 starters that helped them make it to the National Championship game in 2014-2015, Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminski, Trevon Jackson, and Josh Gasser.
It was announced that assistant coach Greg Gard would take over as head coach, and many started to realize Ryan had resigned when he did on purpose, to ensure that Gard would get the position for the rest of the season. Many thought that Gard couldn’t handle the role of head coach but he proved them wrong, leading the badgers all the way to the sweet sixteen in the NCAA tournament.
Many thought it was all over after an upsetting loss to Nebraska, but then they received an at-large-bid to the National tournament. Gard helped them defeat Pittsburg and Xavier, and they came very close to upsetting Notre Dame, but eventually took the fall in the sweet sixteen.
Now, in his second year as head coach, Gard has “rebuilt” this new team in just one short year, training players like Ethan Happ to be key game changers. The badgers have an overall record of 22-5 with a conference record of 11-3, and they are expected to make their 14th appearance at the NCAA tournament this year.
I think Gard was the perfect guy for the job, and he’s a genuinely good guy too. He already knew the players and the team structure from having previously been the assistant coach, which is the major reason he was such a good fit. The players trusted him and respected him already and they didn’t need to take extra time to get comfortable with him. Keep up the good work Greg, we’re counting on you!