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."
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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.