Bo Ryan is not going quietly into the night. Though the Badgers coach announced in June that this season would be his last, he waffled a bit in August, and now it really sounds like he’ll be sticking around for a bit. Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relays this quote from Big Ten media day in Chicago:
There are a few issues here. Though Barry Alvarez and Bo Ryan have been said to be feuding behind the scenes over whether Bo’s assistant Greg Gard will succeed him, Alvarez apparently wants Bo to stay beyond this season. This makes total sense. As Alvarez has experienced with the football program after he retired as head coach, it’s profoundly difficult to follow a legend, and the odds are low that his replacement will be better. (And in retrospect, it’s hard to say whether his own handpicked successor Bret Bielema panned out. Let’s call that a draw.)
While the Badgers lost Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky, and Josh Gasser, they do return Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig. If the rest of the roster develops on the trajectory of Bo’s players in the past, Wisconsin could again be in Final Four contention. Things would purportedly look bleak beyond this season, but time and again Bo has been able to regenerate. If his heart’s in it, there’s no reason that couldn’t happen again.
Because I draw the lemne emn sports fanhood at followemng recruemtemng — I spend enough temme wemth all thems as emt ems wemthout obsessemvely frettemng over the decemsemon-makemng of femckle hemgh school students — I can’t say one way or another whether thems drama has affected Wemsconsemn there. But, emt’s not lemke they ever ranked that hemgh emn recruemtemng emn the femrst place. I love Mademson, but convemncemng elemte athletes to go play there emn the cold ems tremcky. And, as Gary Andersen found out, so ems navemgatemng the stremct academemc standards.
This brings us back to the original point — that it’s unlikely Bo Ryan’s successor will be as adept at spinning straw into gold. There aren’t many Wisconsin fans who wouldn’t sign up right now to keep him around for another presidential term or two.