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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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State Legislature honors Alvarez

[media-credit name=’YANA PASKOVA/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]barry_yp_416[/media-credit]After an affirmative vote by the Wisconsin state Senate, the Assembly approved a resolution Tuesday honoring Barry Alvarez for his outstanding achievements as head football coach of the University of Wisconsin Badgers.

"If anyone deserves recognition by the Legislature, I think that Barry does," Senate Joint Resolution 56 lead author Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, said in a phone interview.

Following the resolution's unanimous approval by both the Senate and Assembly, Alvarez spoke to the bodies and expressed his appreciation, calling it an "honor."

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"We did something we rarely do in the state Senate. We rarely have people make presentations or talk and we gave Barry an opportunity, and he did an excellent job," Risser said. "[H]e received a standing ovation from us, and he deserves it."

According to the resolution, within the Big Ten Conference, Alvarez is just the tenth coach in history to win at least 100 games at the same institution and is the only to win back-to-back Rose Bowl Championships.

Additionally, during his 16 years as coach, Alvarez was a finalist for ESPN's Coach of the [1990s] Decade and has been a two-time national and two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year.

"I'd say that as a coach he leaves a remarkable legacy at the university, the athletic department, the state of Wisconsin, and college football," UW Athletic Communications Director Justin Doherty said. "His achievements speak for themselves."

According to legislators, Alvarez's achievements reach beyond the university's football program, impacting its entire athletic program.

"The attendance at the last game before Barry Alvarez became coach was about 20,000. Buying a ticket to the football game wasn't a big deal back then," Rep. Spencer Black, D-Madison, said. "Barry Alvarez has once again made the name Wisconsin synonymous with the word 'winning.'"

One essential part of improving the UW athletic program has been to keep quality athletes within the state, an effort Alvarez has actively promoted.

"Even beyond that, [Alvarez] is a figure that goes beyond the state of Wisconsin," Risser said. "He's recognized nationally for [the] promotion of Wisconsin. He has … encouraged good Wisconsin players to stick with Wisconsin."

Not only has Alvarez brought positive attention to UW athletics, but he has helped place UW academics in the limelight as well.

"The University of Wisconsin is a proud institution that enjoys enormous respect wherever you go. We're a world-class university that is the envy of many people," Alvarez said. "I'm honored to represent the institution and the state of Wisconsin. We must continue to work to maintain our respected status on and off the field."

Additionally, Alvarez's achievements were commemorated by an unrelated award given in Appleton Tuesday. Alvarez was presented the 2006 Red Smith Award, an honor which annually commends individual contribution to sports.

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