After Wisconsin men’s basketball won the national championship in 1941 the team struggled for decades. The program spent 42 years without a post season appearance and eked out fewer than 10 winning seasons. Then came former New York Knicks head coach Stu Jackson in 1992. Jackson implemented an up tempo offense earning Wisconsin it’s first top 25 ranking in 16 years. And in 1993, Jackson’s new look Badgers received Wisconsin’s first NCAA tournament bid in 47 years.
Athletic Director Pat Richter hired Jackson, who had been one of the youngest coaches in NBA history, bringing new energy to Wisconsin.
“I think people were a little bit surprised we were able to attract someone of his caliber to Wisconsin,” he said, “Stu really was kind of a catalyst for getting us…on the map, so to speak.”
After Jackson’s success with the Badgers he returned to the NBA as general manager for the Vancouver Grizzlies. He was later named Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the NBA.
Shining Moments in Badger History is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.
AUDIO: Shining Moments radio feature for 12-30-13 Coach Stu Jackson takes team to first NCAA Tourney in 47 years