NCAA FB

Alvarez returns, readies Wisconsin for Rose Bowl

Share This Story

   
 

MADISON, Wis. (AP)

Barry Alvarez's birth certificate says he's about to turn 66. The bounce in his step on Wisconsin's practice field suggests differently.

Trading his red sports coat, slacks and loafers for sneakers, sweat shirt and a whistle, the Badgers' athletic director has balanced trying to find a new head coach with preparing Wisconsin for its third straight Rose Bowl appearance.

''It's fun to be around these kids,'' Alvarez said Sunday following Wisconsin's fourth bowl practice. ''It's just a great group of guys. It's fun for me to be around this staff, be a little closer to this staff. It's been enjoyable.''

Alvarez, whose birthday is Dec. 30, will lead the Badgers on Jan. 1 against No. 8 Stanford. Wisconsin has lost the last two Rose Bowls.

Two days after his hand-picked successor, Bret Bielema, accepted the head coaching job at Arkansas, Alvarez announced earlier this month that he would end a seven-year absence on the sidelines.

Wisconsin's seniors asked Alvarez to coach them in their last game. It was a natural decision for them to choose Alvarez, who led Wisconsin to all three of its Rose Bowl triumphs (1994, 1999, 2000). He has an 8-3 record in bowl games, the best mark in college football history among coaches with 11 bowl appearances.

His players are responding to the energy. Shortly after the first practice under Alvarez, junior tight end Brian Wozniak tweeted that it was Wisconsin's best practice of the year, and subsequent players have agreed.

''They were shorter, more crisp and attacked the practice a little more knowing they were shorter,'' receiver Jared Abbrederis said. ''We were really getting after it and getting some good work in.''

Alvarez said he thinks he is close to finding a replacement for Bielema. Although he toyed with the notion of returning for the 2013 season - for ''like a day,'' he said - Alvarez has interviewed two candidates. Speculation is that South Florida coach Willie Taggart and current Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker have spoken to Alvarez, and he is expected to meet with another one this week.

An official announcement of the next head coach could come sometime this week.

''I feel good about the candidates we have interviewed,'' Alvarez said.

While Alvarez is having on the field, he has become irritated that he's lost five assistant coaches in the past week, most of whom were given hard deadlines to decide their futures.

Officially, Bielema has hired defensive coordinator Chris Ash and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge to the same position at Arkansas. Receivers coach Zach Azzanni (Tennessee) and offensive coordinator Matt Canada (North Carolina State) have also accepted other jobs.

The list is expected to rise, as reports surfaced Sunday that linebackers coach Andy Buh was going to become the defensive coordinator at California.

''I like for them to stay, but they had to protect their families,'' Alvarez said. ''A coach says, `You've got 24 hours to make this decision or the job isn't there,' they have to do something because I couldn't promise them that the next coach would retain them.''

When asked if he planned to make a run at some of those assistants when a new coach is in place, Alvarez didn't commit.

''We'll see when that time comes,'' he said.

Tagged: Wisconsin

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash