Barry Alvarez may coach bowl, already calling candidates
Posted by: Josh Kendall on December 6, 2012
If Barry Alvarez is going to coach the Rose Bowl, the announcement could come as early as today.
"There is a possibility I will come back," Wisconsin's athletic director said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with The Wall Street Journal. "I've got a meeting with the team tomorrow. I want to assure them that we will do everything we can do let the seniors go out on a positive note. I'll have a coach in place they will be able to identify with and someone they will enjoy playing for."
Bret Bielema, who created the vacancy when he took the Arkansas job on Wednesday, said during his introductory news conference that he thinks Alvarez will lead the Badgers against Stanford.
"I think he's actually coaching the bowl game, which is awesome," Bielema said. "They might finally win one. Everybody tells me he won three, and I lost two. They will have a tremendous opportunity in the bowl game."
Alvarez last coached Wisconsin for 16 seasons and left with a 118-73-4 record at the school.
He scheduled his interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday, before he knew Bielema was considering leaving. He only learned of the coach's decision at noon on Wednesday, he said.
"I asked him, 'Is your mind made up?' And he said, 'Yes,'" Alvarez said. "There was no need for me to counter."
Alvarez immediately started contacting coaches on his short list, he said.
"My first inclination would be to hire someone who is an active head coach," he said. "I am looking for someone that would be a good fit for our Wisconsin family, someone that our people would identify with, someone that cares about players, someone that treats players the right way. I wouldn't interview anybody unless they had a track record in football, but there are other things that come into play. They have to understand our culture and how we win at Wisconsin."
That seems to describe Paul Chryst pretty well. Chryst is a Madison, Wis., native who was the Badgers offensive coordinator before taking the Pitt job this year.
"Paul is a great coach," Bielema said.
Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org