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Barry Alvarez

Title Head coach
Sport Football
Born December 30, 1946 (1946-12-30) (age 63)
Place of birth Langeloth, Pennsylvania
Career highlights
Overall 118–73–4
Bowls 8–3
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
3 Big Ten (1993, 1998-1999)
2x Big Ten Coach of the Year (1993, 1998)
Playing career
1966-1968 Nebraska
Position Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Iowa LB
Notre Dame LB
Notre Dame DC

Barry Alvarez (born December 30, 1946 in Langeloth, Pennsylvania) is a former college football head coach and current Director of Athletics at the University of Wisconsin. Alvarez stepped down as head coach after the 2005 season, remaining as athletic director.


Early life

Barry Alvarez is a graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he played linebacker in the 1960s under Bob Devaney, who became one of his major coaching influences. He later became a head coach at Lexington, Nebraska High School and then Mason City High School in Iowa before becoming an assistant coach at first the University of Iowa Hawkeyes and then later at the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish.


In 1990, Alvarez was named head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. He rejuvenated the floundering program and eventually became the winningest coach in school history. During his tenure, the Badgers won three Big Ten championships and three Rose Bowl games.

Alvarez replaced Pat Richter as athletic director at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2004.

In 2000, Alvarez and his wife Cindy endowed a $250,000 football scholarship at the university. The book Don't Flinch is the autobiography of Alvarez' life, concluding with his selection of Bret Bielema as the head football coach to replace him.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten Conference) (1990–2005)
1990 Wisconsin 1–10 0-8 10th
1991 Wisconsin 5–6 2-6 T-8th
1992 Wisconsin 5–6 3-5 T-6th
1993 Wisconsin 10–1–1 6-1-1 T-1st W Rose 5 6
1994 Wisconsin 8–3–1 5-2-1 4th W Hall of Fame
1995 Wisconsin 4–5–2 3-4-1 T-7th
1996 Wisconsin 8–5 3-5 7th W Copper
1997 Wisconsin 8–5 5-3 5th L Outback
1998 Wisconsin 11–1 7–1 T-1st W Rose 5 6
1999 Wisconsin 10–2 7–1 1st W Rose 4 4
2000 Wisconsin 9–4 4-4 T-5th W Sun 24 23
2001 Wisconsin 5–7 3-5 T-8th
2002 Wisconsin 8–6 2-6 T-8th W Alamo
2003 Wisconsin 7–6 4-4 T-7th L Music City
2004 Wisconsin 9–3 6-2 3rd L Outback 18 17
2005 Wisconsin 10–3 5-3 T-3rd W Capital One 15 15
Wisconsin: 118–73–4 65-60-3
Total: 118–73–4
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

Life after coaching

Alvarez concluded his career at Wisconsin with a win over the Auburn Tigers in the 2006 Capital One Bowl, bringing his all-time record at Wisconsin to 118–73–4 (.615), with three Rose Bowl wins and an 8–3 (.727) record in bowl games, the best winning percentage ever for a coach in Division I-A bowl games (minimum 11 bowl games coached).

On October 13, 2006, a bronze statue of Alvarez was unveiled in the Kellner Plaza of Camp Randall Stadium. The statue honoring Alvarez had been announced the previous year, at his last home game as head coach.[1]

During the 2006–07 bowl season, Alvarez worked as a color commentator/analyst for Fox Sports. He worked on both the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and 2006 BCS National Championship Game.[2]

He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame on December 30, 2009 in Pasadena.


  • In 1994, Babcock Dairy Store, housed in Babcock Hall, (home of the UW–Madison's Department of Food Science, College of Ag and Life Sciences) developed an ice cream flavor called "Berry Alvarez" in honor of the coach - a mixture of raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry.
  • In 2001, Hispanic Business magazine named Barry Alvarez one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics.[3]
  • The only Big Ten coach to win consecutive Rose Bowls. Only one of six coaches (regardless of conference) to win at least three Rose Bowls. Of these six, there are only two who never lost in a Rose Bowl: Barry Alvarez and John Robinson.
  • His three Rose Bowl wins are the only Rose Bowl wins for the University of Wisconsin (six games total with losses in 1953, 1960, and 1963).
  • The only Big Ten coach with any significant tenure versus the Jim Tressel-era Ohio State Buckeyes with a head-to-head winning record (3–1), including two wins at "The Shoe" in 2001 & 2004. His Badgers' 2003 victory against the then defending national champion Buckeyes snapped Ohio State's 19 game winning streak. At the end of the 2009 season, he remains the only Big Ten coach (and Wisconsin the only Big Ten team) with consecutive wins over Tressel's Ohio State teams (2003 & 2004).
  • Alvarez had six nine-win seasons. Prior to his arrival era, Wisconsin only had recorded only four in nearly 100 seasons.
  • Won the 1978 Iowa High School State Champs


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Don Morton
University of Wisconsin–Madison Head Football Coach
1990– 2006
Succeeded by
Bret Bielema


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