Big Ten

Badgers' Bo Ryan to retire following 2015-16 season


Badgers' Bo Ryan to retire following 2015-16 season

The college basketball world was collectively stunned Monday when Wisconsin head basketball coach Bo Ryan announced that the 2015-16 season will be his final one at the helm of the Badgers basketball program.

"Back in the spring, in the days after the national championship game, (UW Director of Athletics) Barry Alvarez and I discussed the possibility of me retiring," Ryan said in a statement released through the Wisconsin basketball Twitter account. "I've always been told that is not a decision to make right after a season is completed. Barry thankfully encouraged me to take some time to think about it, and I have done that. I considered retiring this summer or coaching one more season.

"I've decided to coach one more season with the hope that my longtime assistant Greg Gard eventually becomes the head coach at Wisconsin. I am looking forward to another year with our program, including our players, my terrific assistant coaches, our office staff and everyone who supports Wisconsin basketball here in Madison, around the state and across the country."

[MORE BIG TEN: Hornets make Badgers' Frank Kaminsky the No. 9 pick of NBA Draft]

The 2015-16 campaign will be Ryan's 15th season coaching the Badgers. He is the all-time winningest coach in Wisconsin history and has taken the program to unprecedented heights in the past two seasons, reaching back-to-back Final Fours and this past season reaching the national championship game. Prior to Ryan arriving in Madison, the Badgers had never won more than 22 games in a season. Under Ryan, they've eclipsed that win total 11 times and won 30 or more games four times, plus the Badgers have reached the NCAA tournament in every season Ryan has been the head coach.

Wisconsin has won a Big Ten regular-season championship, a Big Ten Tournament championship or both in five different seasons during Ryan's tenure. The Badgers have been to seven Sweet Sixteens, three Elite Eights, two Final Fours and a national championship game.

Under Ryan, six players have earned AP All-America honors and four have been selected in the first round of the NBA Draft, including Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, who were picked in the first round of last week's NBA Draft.

Prior to coming to Madison ahead of the 2001-02 season, Ryan spent two seasons at UW-Milwaukee after a storied 15-year career at UW-Platteville, where he led that team to four Division-III national championships.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately


Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.