Alvarez: Wisconsin's success started with turnaround of football program

Bill Michaels
Thursday, March 30th
03/30/17: Barry Alvarez, University of Wisconsin Athletic Director, discusses the state of Badger Athletics. The Head Coaching Great also reflects on his career. Plus, why could he not give Greg Gard the keys right away to run the basketball program?

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

So first of all let's talk about the badger program itself because you guys have had. And unbelievable. Season total sports wise between football basketball Lagos ports one on we were talking about Mark Johnson the women's hockey team you've upgraded at the men's hockey program suit. Right now it kind of thing amount. Well you know we are having the Goodyear and you know I just noticed it does your filled cup standings came out last week you were second I don't know if we've ever been. That speaks to the the breath of yours your programs. And now we've analyst success and a lot of work wrestling scored resting ethic was twelfth in the country and and so on and so forth and everybody knows about. Football basketball and hockey made a big jump and course markers. Was in the finals yet again so. Really just a solid solid year but. We're surrounded with a lot of people. Isn't that a lot of your doing. Well I hired a lot of it to Mo yeah. But. You know beauty try to get good people recommend this is a place you can you can hire two. People of Madison middle of the university. We think we treat people right here and there's a good atmosphere and good quality life. We're talking about when you bring up the fact it's a good job and it's a good atmosphere. Ung it. Wisconsin is now looked is that stepping stone program and some of the other programs are even other big programs this is a destination Oprah when you feel like you've got people here now they're gonna last lifetime. Well I like to think so but we had couple coaches that NAFTA didn't didn't think that that's OK that's OK and and in our fans should be. They they should be upset with that they shouldn't take that as a slap in the face. You know a lot of us have had opportunities to Lehman. Decided to say some people. Feel as though the best thing for them and their family. As to move. Some didn't feels that it was a good fit but there are always good people out there that. That are interested in and positions here so we're able to get good people. I actually became the athletic treacherous I can't see you sitting on the end of a scrolling. You know skilling vote with us integral skilling team media cocktail in hand yellen stroke you know watch all of it. Would you really kind of taken the job and he got more comfortable and in your own skin and being athletic director and kind of overseeing all of. I've never felt uncomfortable. Even when I was doing both jobs. Made myself visible. As it did admit as many sports I can't I think the coaches understand that I'm supportive of them. I know priorities I know it's the most important. You know when you're winning a football basketball and in particular football. Your revenues your your revenues going to be in such as a state that everyone can can operate with a with a competitive budget. When you look back to your career. Would this right now be one your prouder moments or is Rose Bowl first Rose Bowl Serb recruit certain things you've done what is your proudest moment. Well. I I look at turning football program. There's not a this would be would be possible had we not turned football. Program. Had we not been able to fill a stadium. Then you don't have money to build the colts close. You can't build all the facilities that we've that we've built here you can't keep up with the rest of the country. So without us having success in football and sustain it that's that's important thing you see a lot of peak and valley programs image some of our name schools the bottom has fallen out for years to we've been able to stay consistent. And because of that. We've been able to do field stadium and and do things that keep us competitive in all sports. Lot of shots you either of boxer on the sideline or in. In the stands over the last few years watching basketball programs watching obviously the football program and nail biting situations. Would you rather be the coach someone they control ordeal like we nets fan going menaces. It's all about when one viewed basketball coach I would know. How do you make a stopper maybe at a zoning I don't. You know football. I trust Paul with. You know you it's fun to be in control it's fun to make decisions. But acted out enough and I know I know my role and I don't I don't put. You know I don't invest the time like the fans are by knows what should be called in what would work and what would won't work. But I'm in it and invest the time during the week to watch film and note tendencies and know what your kids can do what they can't do I think I I think I know. But I invested time that the coaches do so I really never second guess. Do you are your hours become a little bit short Regan a little bit earlier nine well it is usually pretty busy yeah you keep pretty busy in this and its. It's year round it's there are no course then there are dollars it's tonight I've got to go got to go have dinner with us some coaches. I'll be out raising raising money. The rest of the week and at some meetings at his final four. So that there are no hours missed just. Games are at night. Functions and it in the evening so just icing on a move. Obviously the biggest revenue you talked about football basketball Boe leaves. There is great guards sitting their boat that we all know Bo wanna his guy was that pretty corrected Bo want him to be the guy and that. Did you have any apprehension or you did you were you comfortable always knowing that he was ago it was into the program. Well I wasn't ready to stand the job over. Initially. You know beau was gonna retire right after his season. And what I mean named Greg and I and I could do that I had to open it up for for a search. I knew there are a lot of people with. Was with great credentials or interested in the job. The timing of and I had to give it to Greg. As the interim on an interim basis. The job that he did she showed me. That he can handle it and not only the coaching job but how he dealt with the media how he dealt with the athletes how he dealt with earth with the fans and and I ran his office and and and how we improve the team. So. You know undertake this deepened with directors that the team was in shambles when he took it over and so I just felt like he was the right guy. He knows our. Our formula to win here. He was very comfortable here it's an easy transition. For him. To him for the players so it was a no brainer because it he earned it. But you know had he not done a good job you know I was prepared to. To talk to other people. Its interest him because all the programs seem to be flowing now and you get to civilian chance not necessarily sit back and released to know that everything's pretty much in control. And I get to talk about you and now you've probably won a lot of awards are numerous awards on the way. This one coming up to Vince some party award of excellence Mark Johnson what are your coaches is a guy has been a recipient of that for his career in sports and what he's been able to accomplish. Jack Nicklaus Bob Hope you start going through the whole list. When you got the call to win the Lombardi award of excellence what is. What does that say the well it's an honor that and then when you research a little more and you see as you said some of the people who have won it. And now what they have meant to sports. You know it's it's humbling for me. Two to accept this award and in their because are so many people that had so much to do with it. You know look at all my assistant coaches over the years the people that have supported me friends family. All the players it would have believed. In me and came through here of the coaches. That produced here and guys we have right now that and how they function all those are or part of this award and that's something you do with this award and and so I'm truly humbled to. To receive. I know outcome Saturday night now you and I are gonna get a chance on stage and I'll usually do a little Q and hang his or anything you wanted to ask you don't risk. It was a little fun up. It's always a pleasure to see into RT thanks so much my pleasure.