University of Wisconsin head basketball coach Bo Ryan's Hall of Fame-worthy career will come to an end following the 2015-16 season, as the 67-year-old announced his intention to retire Monday.
Ryan, who led the Badgers to the national championship game against Duke this past season, released a statement through Wisconsin Basketball on Twitter and revealed his wish to have assistant Greg Gard take over as head coach following his retirement:
Gard has served under Ryan for the head coach's entire tenure at Wisconsin. Despite Ryan's desire to have Gard take over after next season, Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino is reportedly a target for the school, according to Patrick Reusse of ESPN 1500.
While Ryan didn't give a definitive reason for his decision, ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman reports that it is not health related.
Ryan's most recent season was his best, as he led Wisconsin to a 36-4 record and the Big Ten Conference championship, although it ended on a sour note as his team couldn't best the Tyus Jones-led Blue Devils to win the national title.
He will have one more opportunity to reign supreme over the college basketball world, but with star players Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker now in the NBA, Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com is skeptical of the Badgers' chances:
Regardless of whether Ryan is able to close his career on top, ESPN.com's Andy Katz believes a significant honor is on the horizon for the longtime coach:
There is no question that Ryan will leave Wisconsin's basketball program better than he found it, as it has achieved unprecedented success under his watch, according to Bill Michaels of The Bill Michaels Show in Wisconsin:
The Chester, Pennsylvania, native previously served as the head coach at Wisconsin-Platteville and Milwaukee before joining Wisconsin in 2001.
In 14 seasons with the Badgers, he has registered a 357-125 record, qualified for the NCAA tournament every year and reached the Final Four in each of the past two campaigns.
He has helped develop Wisconsin into a national power and perennial contender. While replacing what Ryan brings to the table as a recruiter and motivator won't be easy, he has laid the groundwork for the Badgers to remain near the top of college basketball.
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