Barry Davis, the face of the University of Wisconsin wrestling team for over two decades, announced Monday he would resign from his position as head coach.
Davis still plans on coaching the seven Badgers who qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships on March 15-17. The resignation comes after Wisconsin placed sixth this past weekend in the Big Ten Championships.
Though the team had a solid season, Davis felt they fell slightly short of their own expectations. After the Big Ten Championships, he told his team he wished they’d gotten ten wrestlers into the NCAA Championships, but was pleased with the seven and seemed excited for how they will perform next week.
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Eli Stickley, Cole Martin, Andrew Crone, Evan Wick, Ryan Christensen, Ricky Robertson and Hunter Ritter will all compete in various weight classes in the tournaments.
While neither the university nor Davis gave a reason for the resignation, it appears as if the split was amicable. UW Athletics sent out a press release in which both sides were quoted giving high praise to the other.
“I’ve known Barry [Davis] for a long time — back to my days as an assistant coach at Iowa — and he is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met,” UW Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said of Davis. “He has left an indelible mark on Wisconsin wrestling.”
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The rest of the press release detailed Davis’s accomplishments as a coach for the Badgers and athlete for his alma mater, the Iowa Hawkeyes. His most prestigious accolades as a coach included being named National Collegiate Wrestling Association National Coach of the Year in 2010 and being Wisconsin’s all-time winningest wrestling coach.
As a wrestler, Davis’ skills were widely known. He was a three-time NCAA National Champion and two-time Olympian, taking home the silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Be sure to check out the final matches under Davis’ tenure as the Badgers travel to Cleveland March 15-17 for the NCAA Championships. Matches will air over the three days on ESPN U in the afternoon and ESPN at night.