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Barry Alvarez says he is honored to coach Wisconsin in Rose Bowl

December 06, 2012|By Chris Dufresne
  • Barry Alvarez will coach Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl game.
Barry Alvarez will coach Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl game. (Morry Gash / Associated…)

Barry Alvarez isn't coming back to coach Wisconsin for one game because he wants to boost his chances of getting into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

Alvarez is already in it -- he was inducted in 2009.

Wisconsin's athletic director is returning to the Rose Bowl sidelines, he says, because he was asked.

After learning Tuesday that Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema was leaving before the bowl game for the head coach job at Arkansas, Alvarez said senior linebacker Mike Taylor called and asked Alvarez to coach the Badgers against Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

"I told him I would be honored to coach them," Alvarez said at a news conference Thursday.

He said it would be a "one-time deal." Alvarez said he would "manage" the game but not call plays.

Alvarez coached Wisconsin for 16 years before stepping inside in 2005 to devote all his attention to being athletic director. He was 3-0 in the Rose Bowl. His last win came in 2000 -- against Stanford. 

"There’s no venue prettier in all of sports than the Rose Bowl," Alvarez said. "I feel it’s a special place. I love that atmosphere, I love that week leading up to it. There isn’t anything I enjoy more so. It doesn’t get a bit old to me. I’ll enjoy every second."

Alvarez assured everyone the game had not passed him by. And it's not like he's returning to coach against Oregon's up-tempo spread. Stanford and Wisconsin are both physical teams that prefer old-fashioned football.

"I like playing teams like this," Alvarez said. "I have great respect for how Stanford plays. Jim Harbaugh brought a toughness there that remains. They have a system much like ours."

Alvarez finished with a 118-73-4 record at Wisconsin with an 8-3 record in bowl games.

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