Two of Wisconsin’s all-time greats, Wisconsin Badger basketball coach Bo Ryan and former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver were announced as the 65th anniversary class to be inducted into the revitalized Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.
The two will be inducted April 30 at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, which is also the site of the first Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony back in 1951.
For Ryan, it’ll mark his second Hall of Fame induction after entering the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame last year.
The Chester, Pa. native coached at UW-Platteville where he won four national championships. After spending two seasons at UW-Milwaukee, Ryan came to Madison, leading the Badgers to back-to-back Final Four appearances over the last two seasons. The Badgers lost to Duke 68-63 in the title game earlier this year.
Ryan won 353 games at Platteville and 357 more at the University of Wisconsin. He is a four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year and has led the Badgers to 14-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Ryan joins several other Hall of Fame members with Badger ties, including athletic director Barry Alvarez, former A.D. Pat Richter and former head coach Dick Bennett.
The 40-year-old Driver was a 7th round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers out of Alcorn State in 1999. He went on to become the Packers’ all-time leading receiver, catching 743 passes for 10,137 yards. He scored 61 touchdowns, made the Pro Bowl four times and helped the Packers win a Super Bowl.
Driver joins a number of Packer greats already in the Hall of Fame, like Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, Curly Lambeau, Paul Hornung and Ray Nitschke.
Driver said he was honored to go into the Hall of Fame with Ryan.
“You look at the person that’s going to be standing next to me, I couldn’t pick a better individual to go into the Hall with me,” he said. “Bo’s enthusiasm and love for the game reminds me of the way I played it. We both gave the game everything we had. We love the game with all our hearts.”
The 2016 induction ceremony will be the first in seven years. Lammi Sports Management purchased the Hall of Fame’s assets last year from the Wisconsin Center District and the Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation and created the Wisconsin Hall of Fame LLC.
Tickets to the induction ceremony start at $15 and are available at Ticketmaster or by calling (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Wisconsin Hall of Fame website (wihalloffame.com)