University of Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan offered his immediate resignation late Tuesday night.
Ryan had planned to retire at the end of the season. His abrupt resignation gives loyal assistant coach Greg Gard the chance to lead the team. Gard, 44, has spent more than half his life as a Ryan lieutenant.
The decision came after Wisconsin’s Tuesday night win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. After the most successful campaign in Wisconsin history, the Badgers registered a 7-5 record this season. Tuesday’s 64-49 win came during the semester’s final game, giving Gard a week to prepare for his first game as a head coach.
Ryan finishes his career with 747 wins, with 364 of them coming for the Badgers. He leaves Madison with the 11 best seasonal records in school history, 14 straight appearances in the NCAA tournament, and seven Big Ten titles. He coached the Badgers to the national championship game this past season, but they fell to Duke.
Before coming to Madison, Ryan, 67, guided the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to four Division Three national championships. He also coached the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
“After months of conversation with [athletic director] Barry Alvarez and his administrative staff, as well as my wife, Kelly, I have decided that now is the right time to step down from the head coaching position here at Wisconsin,” Ryan reasoned. “This was a decision months in the making. I brought this up to Barry back in April. He advised me to take some time to think it over and I appreciated that. But in recent weeks, I have come to the conclusion that now is the right time for me to retire and for [assistant] Greg Gard to have the opportunity to coach the team for the remainder of the season.”