Longtime Wisconsin athletic director and former football coach Barry Alvarez is set to retire, sources told ESPN on Saturday.
Alvarez, 74, who has led Wisconsin’s athletic department since April 2004, likely will make a formal announcement in the next few weeks. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported Saturday that Alvarez is planning to retire.
Alvarez coached Wisconsin’s football team from 1990 to 2005, reviving the program with three Big Ten titles and three Rose Bowl victories. He went 119-72-4 in those 16 seasons with a 9-4 bowl record, six AP Top 25 finishes and three top-6 finishes, and won national coach of the year in 1993 and Big Ten coach of the year in 1993 and 1998.
Alvarez held both the athletic director and football coach roles in 2004 and 2005 before handing over the program to his hand-picked successor, Bret Bielema. He twice returned to the sideline following head-coaching changes to lead Wisconsin in the 2013 Rose Bowl (loss to Stanford) and 2015 Outback Bowl (win over Auburn).
Alvarez is the third-longest tenured athletic director in a Power 5 conference, behind Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione and Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart, and the sixth-longest tenured in major college sports.
Deputy athletic director Chris McIntosh, a former All-American offensive lineman under Alvarez, who captained Wisconsin’s Big Ten championship teams in 1998 and 1999, has been seen as a likely successor. But Wisconsin could conduct a national search for the athletic-director job.