The UW Board of Regents approved a new head coaching contract on Monday and Greg Gard was named the 16th head men’s basketball coach in the school’s history.
A Wisconsin assistant since 2001, the 45-year-old Gard took over as the Badgers’ interim head coach following the retirement of longtime head coach Bo Ryan on December 15.
Gard started 1-4, having to install the Swing Offense and get the young Badgers ready for the long haul. He did a masterful job as the Badgers have won 11 of their last 13 games and finished in the top four in the Big Ten for a Big Ten record 16th straight year.
A 77-76 victory over fourth-ranked Michigan State at the Kohl Center on January 17 was the start of a seven game winning streak that also included a home court win over eventual Big Ten Champion Indiana and a road win over then, No. two ranked Maryland. The Badgers would later add a road win over No. 8 Iowa in late February.
The Badgers finished the regular season with a 12-6 Big Ten record, losing just twice over the final seven weeks of the season.
Gard is expected to be formally introduced as the new coach of the Badgers on Tuesday. He is expected to sign a five-year contract that will pay him close to $2-million a season.
The Badgers will open the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night against the winner of Wednesday’s game between Rutgers and Nebraska.
Gard’s name came up in discussion about the Big Ten Coach of the Year. He wouldn’t wind up getting that honor, but he has something better. He has that interim tag removed from his title and the opportunity to take this young Badger team to new heights.