University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has been awarded the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year, announced by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Alvarez joins a distinguished list of other FBS Athletic Directors honored this week: Whit Babcock of Virginia Tech, Joe Castiglione of Oklahoma and Kirby Hocutt of Texas Tech.
After years of limited Wisconsin success that saw the losses pile up in the 1980’s, former athletic director Pat Richter called upon the Notre Dame defensive coordinator. Barry Alvarez came on board the Badger ship in time for the 1990 season.
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Coach Alvarez brought Wisconsin back to prominence, thanks to three Rose Bowl wins and the first Big Ten Title win in 37 years in 1999.
Alvarez spent a year straddling both the head coach job and the athletic director position in 2004.
Since stepping back from the sidelines, Alvarez’ tenure as athletic director has been marked by continued success in football and basketball.
In the 15 seasons from 2002-03 to 2016-17, mostly under the watchful eye of Alvarez in the AD position, Wisconsin Athletics had something of a miracle run. In each of those seasons, the Badger football team appeared in a bowl game and the Badger basketball team appeared in the NCAA Tournament. This is an NCAA record, three years better than the previous record held by Texas.
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In 2009, Alvarez was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. Coach Alvarez was a unanimous 2010 inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame.