What others say

Comments on the announcement that Bret Bielema will succeed Barry Alvarez as head coach in 2006

Pat Richter, former Wisconsin athletics director:

"Today's announcement certainly marks the end of an era, the greatest one on the gridiron in Wisconsin history. The unprecedented success is obviously grounded in the three Rose Bowl and Big Ten championships.

"When we arrived at the UW, it was obvious to both of us that football had to regain respectability for the entire department to get back on its feet. Slowly but surely, the attendance increased every year to the point this summer the UW didn't even have a single-game ticket sale.

"Barry and I have been close personal friends for a number of years. We've shared many highlight moments and those memories are priceless. My fondest memory was sharing the victory over Michigan State in Tokyo to clinch the 1994 Rose Bowl berth."

Donna Shalala, former chancellor of the University of Wisconsin and current president of the University of Miami:

"He was a miracle worker. No one believed that Wisconsin's program could be restored to great eminence and Barry did it with class and energy and skill."

Hayden Fry, former Iowa head coach:

"Barry has done a fantastic job every place he's coached. He is just like my son. I have great admiration and respect for him. He showed great wisdom in selecting Bret Bielema as the next head coach. I can't think of a better assistant coach who is deserving of the head job at one of the finest universities in the country. Bret Bielema will do an outstanding job."

Bill Snyder, Kansas State head coach:

"I think Barry's record speaks for itself, with the conference championships and Rose Bowl victories he has produced at Wisconsin. We've been good friends going back to our days at the University of Iowa and I have all the admiration in the world for him. He's not only a great football coach, but a great person as well and that goes far beyond his capabilities as a head football coach."

"Bret is an extremely well-rounded coach for his youth. I think his capabilities far exceed what some people may perceive to be his youthfulness. His youth, in fact, is an advantage for him. He's well organized and I think he has a tremendous working knowledge of the game, and not just on defense, but offensively and with special teams as well. He is also very enthusiastic and very much a player's coach. I think the players will respond to him extremely well. I think he'll touch all the bases. He's a good recruiter, he's good with young people and good with people in general. He just possesses and excellent knowledge of what the game of college football is all about. I don't think there was any doubt that Bret would one day be a head coach. The only question was when that would be."

Dan McCarney, Iowa State head coach:

"What can you say ... Barry Alvarez IS Wisconsin football. His coaching legacy is one of the greatest in college football history.

"The most endearing gift that Barry ever gave me is his friendship. I can pick up the phone and call him anytime and that's a great comfort. We remain the best of friends.

"I love him, and he had a profound impact on me as both a coach and man. Barry Alvarez is an once-in-a-lifetime guy."

"I remember Bret as a walk-on defensive lineman while I was coaching at Iowa. What impressed me about Bret was his intensity and desire to learn and get better. He has tremendous comprehension of the game and is a great natural leader. This is a perfect opportunity for Bret, and I'm pleased for him. Because of the similarities between the personalities of Barry and Bret, the passing of the baton will be a smooth transition for Wisconsin football. The Badgers are fortunate to have landed Bret and it's a terrific choice by Barry."


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