Barry Alvarez
Current position
TitleAthletics director, interim head coach
Biographical details
Born (1946-12-30) December 30, 1946 (age 73)
Langeloth, Pennsylvania
Alma materUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2013 (interim)
Lincoln NE HS (NE) (assistant)
Lexington HS (NE)
Mason City HS (IA)
Iowa (LB)
Notre Dame (LB)
Notre Dame (DC)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Head coaching record
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
3 Big Ten (1993, 1998–1999)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1993)
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (1993)
2x Big Ten Coach of the Year (1993, 1998)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2010 (profile)

Barry Alvarez (born December 30, 1946) is an American football coach who is currently the Director of Athletics and interim head football coach at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

He served as the head football coach at Wisconsin for 16 seasons from 1990 to 2005, compiling a career college football record of 118–73–4. He has the longest head coaching tenure and the most wins in Wisconsin Badgers football history. Alvarez stepped down as head coach after the 2005 season, remaining as athletics director.

His hand-picked successor, Bret Bielema, left the program in December 2012 to take the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas, prompting Alvarez to announce that he would return as interim head coach of the Badgers, managing the team through the 2013 Rose Bowl. Alvarez was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2010.

Early lifeEdit

Barry Alvarez was born and raised in Langeloth, Pennsylvania and graduated of Burgettstown Union High School in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. Barry Alvarez is a graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he played linebacker from 1966 to 1968 under Bob Devaney, who became one of his major coaching influences along with Hayden Fry and Lou Holtz. Alvarez intercepted a pass in a game played between the Nebraska and the Badgers in Madison. Alvarez later became a head coach at Lexington High School in Lexington, Nebraska and then Mason City High School in Mason City, Iowa where the Mohawks won the 1978 class 4A state title, 15–13, over Dubuque Hempstead before becoming an assistant coach at University of Iowa and then at the University of Notre Dame.

Head coaching careerEdit

In 1990, Alvarez was named head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. He inherited a program that had not had a winning season since 1984, and had only won seven games in Big Ten Conference play in that time. After three less-than-distinguished seasons rebuilding the awful program he had inherited, including a 1–10 record in his first year, the Badgers steamrolled through the 1993 season, notching a 10–1–1 mark and their first Rose Bowl appearance since 1963, along with only the second bowl win in school history. During his tenure, the Badgers won or shared three Big Ten titles and won three Rose Bowls. He also led the Badgers to 11 bowl games; before his arrival they had been to only six bowls in their entire history. The 1998 team notched the first 11-win season in school history, while the 1999 team won the school's first outright Big Ten title in 37 years.

Alvarez concluded his coaching career at Wisconsin with a win over the Auburn Tigers in the 2006 Capital One Bowl, bringing his all-time record at Wisconsin to 118–73–4 (.615), making him far and away the winningest coach in school history; his 118 wins are almost double those of runner-up Phillip King. It also brought his record in bowl games to 8–3 (.727).

Alvarez is the only Big Ten Conference coach to win consecutive Rose Bowls. Wisconsin won all three of its Rose Bowls under Alvarez (1994, 1999, and 2000), placing his 3-0 Rose Bowl record third on the list of undefeated Rose Bowl records, behind Howard Jones (5-0) and John Robinson (4-0).[1] On December 5, 2012, the day after he announced he would be leaving to take the Arkansas head coaching position, Bret Bielema revealed to the media that Barry Alvarez would be the interim coach for the Badgers in the 2013 Rose Bowl.[2] The Badgers would lose that game to the Stanford Cardinal 20-14.

Alvarez is the only Big Ten coach with consecutive wins over the Ohio State Buckeyes during Jim Tressel's coaching tenure there; those came in 2003 and 2004. He finished his career with a 3–1 edge over Tressel.[3] Alvarez had six seasons with at least nine wins at Wisconsin. Prior to his arrival, the Badgers had recorded only four in nearly 100 seasons (1897-1899, 1901). (Wisconsin has only played a 9+ game per season schedule consistently since 1942, so 9+ wins per season wasn't always possible prior to that time.)

Life after coachingEdit

Alvarez replaced Pat Richter as athletic director in 2004 while retaining the head coaching position. After the 2005 season, Alvarez stepped down as head coach. Due to his continuing role as athletic director, Alvarez had the rare opportunity to choose his successor. Alvarez selected former defensive coordinator Bret Bielema.

During the 2006–07 bowl season, Alvarez worked as a color commentator/analyst for Fox Sports. He worked both the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and 2007 BCS National Championship Game as well as select NFL games. [4]

In 2010, it was revealed that he had invested $600,000 in the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Nevin Shapiro.[5]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten Conference) (1990–2005)
1990 Wisconsin 1–10 0–8 10th
1991 Wisconsin 5–6 2–6 T–8th
1992 Wisconsin 5–6 3–5 T–6th
1993 Wisconsin 10–1–1 6–1–1 T–1st W Rose 5 6
1994 Wisconsin 7–4–1 4–3–1 4th W Hall of Fame
1995 Wisconsin 4–5–2 3–4–1 T–7th
1996 Wisconsin 8–5 3–5 7th W Copper
1997 Wisconsin 8–5 5–3 5th L Outback
1998 Wisconsin 11–1 7–1 T–1st W Rose 5 6
1999 Wisconsin 10–2 7–1 1st W Rose 4 4
2000 Wisconsin 9–4 4–4 T–5th W Sun 24 23
2001 Wisconsin 5–7 3–5 T–8th
2002 Wisconsin 8–6 2–6 T–8th W Alamo
2003 Wisconsin 7–6 4–4 T–7th L Music City
2004 Wisconsin 9–3 6–2 3rd L Outback 18 17
2005 Wisconsin 10–3 5–3 T–3rd W Capital One 15 15
Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten Conference) (2012)
2012 Wisconsin 0–1 0–0 L Rose
Wisconsin: 118–74–4 65–60–3
Total: 118–74–4
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

Honors and awardsEdit

Prior to his arrival at Wisconsin, Alvarez was part of Lou Holtz's staff at Notre Dame from 1987-1989. He was the defensive coordinator for the 1988 and 1989 teams which lost a single game in these two seasons and were named national champions in 1988.[6]

During his head coaching tenure, Alvarez received national recognition as the recipient of the AFCA Coach of the Year and Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award in 1993. He was twice honored as the Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, in 1993 and 1998.

In 1994, Babcock Dairy Store, run by the UW–Madison's Department of Food Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, developed an ice cream flavor called "Berry Alvarez", a mixture of raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry, in his honor. In 2001, Hispanic Business Magazine named Barry Alvarez one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanics."[7]

On October 13, 2006, a bronze statue of Alvarez was unveiled in the Kellner Plaza of Camp Randall Stadium. The statue honoring Alvarez had been announced the previous year, at his last home game as head coach.[8]

In 2009, Alvarez was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. On May 27, 2010 it was announced that Alvarez would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2010 class. It was further revealed that the induction vote for Alvarez was unanimous.[6]


External linksEdit

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