Stop us if you’ve heard this one lately: One of the most influential figures in college athletics is calling it a career. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez announced Tuesday that he will retire on June 30, capping a tenure with the Badgers that began in 1990, when he took over as head football coach.
Alvarez’s retirement comes after three Power 5 commissioner jobs turned over in the last two years, and on the heels of other longtime ADs such as Duke’s Kevin White and Oklahoma State’s Mike Holder also retiring this year.
Wisconsin announced a nine-person search committee Wednesday that will be chaired by athletic board chair Peter Miller and feature familiar names such as head football coach Paul Chryst and assistant men’s basketball coach Alando Tucker.
Alvarez and Wisconsin are synonymous. It is difficult to imagine the Badgers without him. Alvarez has wanted deputy AD Chris McIntosh to succeed him for some time, and though he may get his wish, as long as there is a search, other candidates will have a chance at the job. Wisconsin chancellor Rebecca Blank, who will have the final say in the hire after the committee presents her with its top candidates, made it clear Wednesday when speaking to reporters that the search would span a broad spectrum of applicants.