Based on the remarkable turnaround since Greg Gard has taken over as the Wisconsin men’s basketball coach, nobody should be surprised if the Wisconsin native lands the job full-time.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Jeff Potrykus reported this morning that the UW is preparing to offer Gard a long-term contract after being blown away by his work. Gard has compiled a record of 12-5 in the Big Ten and 13-5 overall since taking over in the wake of Bo Ryan’s retirement on Dec. 15.
UW officials posted the job last week and applications have to be in by 4:30 p.m. Thursday (today). The earliest possible start date is “on or after March 8,” which is this coming Tuesday.
Any hiring has to be approved by the UW Board of Regents, who are scheduled to meet next Thursday in Madison.
The Big Ten tournament starts next Wednesday in Indianapolis, but the Badgers aren’t expected to start play until Friday.
The JS says Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez has been consistently impressed by Gard’s work during games, practices and in his interaction with the public. Alvarez believes he has the right coach to lead the Badgers in the long-term.
From the time Bo Ryan announced his retirement, Gard had a week to install the Swing offense before facing UW-Green Bay.
The noticeable change in Wisconsin’s offense isn’t just the “Swing”. It is Gard’s commitment to go deeper in the rotation than Ryan would have. It has led to a number of players getting opportunities and they have helped the Badgers right the ship.
Gard started one-and-four, then beat No. 4 Michigan State for the start of a seven-game winning streak. Counting that win, the Badgers have won 11 of their last 12 games and will close out the Big Ten season at Purdue on Sunday.
Gard’s message has been consistent. It has never been about him. It’s been about the players and the one day at a time approach which has led to the improvement and massive turn around.
The Badgers are tied with Michigan State for second place in the Big Ten at the moment and not one Wisconsin fan would be surprised if Gard took his Badgers into West Lafayette this weekend and knock off another Big Ten foe on what will be their Senior Day.