Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard has had a whirlwind summer, including a stop at the Milwaukee Brewers game Tuesday

A lifelong Brewers fan, Wisconsin head basketball coach Greg Gard delivers the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday's Milwaukee Brewers game.

MILWAUKEE - It's been a whirlwind few months for Greg Gard who is still getting adjusted to being the head basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin.

But while Gard's and his Badgers' season came to an end March 25 with a painful, 61-56 loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament, he has been busy, crisscrossing the state, shaking hands and settling into his new role as the program's figure head.

Gard got another moment in the spotlight Tuesday evening, when he threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Miller Park, where the Milwaukee Brewers were playing host to the Oakland Athletics.

"I spent a lot of time earlier today working on that, making sure my delivery, my angle and footwork was right. My stride, all those type of things," Gard joked. 

The visit to Milwaukee wasn't all about fun, though. Gard took some time to meet Brewers players and coaches, including bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel -- a regular attendee of Wisconsin basketball games -- and manager Craig Counsell.

"There's a lot of mutual respect there," Gard said. "Craig and I got to talk about what he sees with his team, motivational tactics and those types of things. There’s a lot of crossover between sports. Success is sports isn't exactly sport-specific. We got a chance to share a few ideas it was fun."

Gard, a native of Cobb, Wis., was born and raised a Brewers fan, and remembered being just 11 years old when the Brewers lost to St. Louis in the 1982 World Series.

"I know they're trying to get back to that," he said. "But as a kid, you're very impressionable, so when that type of run happens, it was pretty special."

He'll get back to work next week, as players return to campus for eight weeks of off-season conditioning work. 

"There really hasn't been a chance to take a breath," Gard said. "Charity events, speaking engagements, golf outings, this event tonight ... we've had a lot on the calendar but it's been great. It's a good kind of busy, something we've all enjoyed. My family got to be a part of a lot of it so that's been fun.

"Our players continue to push forward and continue to raise the bar within the program, continue to grow. We hired a new coach in the off-season. Getting everybody established and entrenched; helping Nigel (Hayes) through his process. There hasn't been any downtime since the NCAA tournament."

Badger Nation Top Stories