MADISON - Barry Alvarez is coming to the rescue again.
For the second time in three seasons, Wisconsin’s athletic director is coming out of retirement to done the headset on an interim basis while he searches for a head coach to replace Gary Andersen, who resigned Wednesday to take the head coaching job at Oregon State.
“A number of the seniors met with me on Wednesday after our team meeting and asked if I would consider coaching the team,” Alvarez said in a statement. “I told them I would have to sleep on it. After thinking it over and meeting with some of the seniors again this morning I have decided to coach. I feel this gives our assistants an opportunity to concentrate on getting the team ready for a very good opponent in Auburn. My goal is to make sure our players, especially the seniors playing their last game, have a memorable experience and we do everything we can to prepare to win the game.”
Alvarez was asked by the 2014 senior class if he’d considered coaching No.17 Wisconsin in the 2015 Outback Bowl against No.19 Auburn New Year’s Day. It’s the same opponent Alvarez coached against when he retired from coaching full time in 2005.
“It’s very flattering,” said Alvarez Wednesday, saying he’d make his decision by today. “I told them I was very flattered that they’d ask me to do that because it’s about the kids. I want them to come here and have a good experience and feel good about it.”
Wisconsin – ranked 21st at the time – was a 10.5-point underdog in that game to the seventh-ranked Tigers, but dominated Auburn, 24-10, in the 2006 Capital One Bowl.
Brian Calhoun rushed for 213 yards, John Stocco passed for 301 and Brandon Williams had 173 yards receiving, giving Alvarez his eighth bowl win in 16 seasons.
Following the departure of Bret Bielema after the 2012 Big Ten championship game, Alvarez stepped in and coached the 2013 Rose Bowl, the fourth of the career. Wisconsin lost to No.6 Stanford, 20-14, dropping Alvarez to 3-1 in Rose Bowls.
The move makes Alvarez the only active coach on the 12 person College Football Playoff selection committee.