MADISON, WI (WHBL) - Barry Alvarez said today that he’ll be “pleased” and “honored” to coach the Wisconsin football team in the Rose Bowl Game against Stanford on New Year’s Day in Pasadena. The former U-W coach and current athletic director told reporters he was only returning for one game – and he’s doing it at the request of the team’s six captains who asked him to coach them. Bret Bielema, the Wisconsin coach for the last seven years, left on Tuesday to take the head job at Arkansas. Alvarez said Bielema offered to coach the Rose Bowl, but the athletic director turned him down. Alvarez said that to his knowledge, all of the Badger assistants will stay at least through the Rose Bowl. And they’ll be able to plan their strategy against Stanford while Alvarez manages the game, and handles all the side details associated with the game. Alvarez is 3-0 in Rose Bowls during his 16 years as Wisconsin’s coach, ending in the 2005 season. He said his involvement would give the Badgers their best chance to win – and it will give the seniors a tremendous experience in Pasadena for their final game. Alvarez was inducted in 2009 into the Rose Bowl Hall-of-Fame. He says he loves everything about the game and the events that lead up to it. Alvarez said that for him, it never grows old.
Meanwhile, Paul Chryst is not coming back. The former Wisconsin offensive coordinator has been rumored to be the top candidate to replace head coach Bret Bielema. But Barry Alvarez firmly told reporters today, “Paul’s going to stay at Pitt.” Alvarez said he has already contacted people on his short list – and he’ll start interviewing candidates for the Wisconsin job next week.