MADISON – After his team’s latest victory over a top-10 opponent, it appears Greg Gard has become one step closer to officially removing the “interim” tag from his resume.
After Wisconsin delivered a 67-59 victory over No.8 Iowa, UW’s second top-10 victory on the road in the last 11 days, the Wisconsin athletic department has officially posted the vacant men’s basketball coaching job.
The job was posted Thursday and applications must be received by March 3 to ensure consideration. The earliest the position will be filled is March 8.
With the Badgers having three games left in the regular season, starting with Sunday’s home finale against Michigan, it appears athletic director Barry Alvarez is strongly leaning toward Gard officially replacing Bo Ryan, who abruptly retired following a 64-49 victory over Texas A&M Corpus Christi Dec.15.
Alvarez officially named Gard the interim head coach of the 7-5 Badgers late that night. After a 1-4 start in Big Ten play, Wisconsin has won nine of its last 10, including four victories over ranked opponents, to move into a tie for fourth place in the league. Gard is 11-5 sitting in the lead chair.
Per state law, Wisconsin has to interview other candidates, which will be tricky with the postseason fast approaching. Some theorist will say that’s by design, but Wisconsin associated athletic director Justin Doherty told the Wisconsin State Journal that interested coaches will make contact.
“For people that are interested in the position and that want the position, they’re going to find a way to make that known and for people that we want to reach out to, we’re going to find a way to do that,” said Doherty. “When’s a good time? I think now you want to make sure you’re on top of it. If you wait until after the season’s over, you may find yourself in a situation where you no longer have aces to people that you may want to consider.”
Gard, a native of Cobb in southwestern Wisconsin, has coached next to Ryan for over two decade at stops at UW-Platteville, Milwaukee and Madison. He’s been Wisconsin’s associate head coach since 2008 and one of the program’s best recruiters since arriving.