Bo Ryan is in his 14th year at Wisconsin where he has had an incredible record of 356 – 124, and he ranks first all time among Big Ten coaches with at least five years of experience. He has led the Badgers to 14 NCAA Tournaments and two consecutive Final Four appearances.
Wisconsin faces 38-0 Kentucky in the Final Four. Could he lead Wisconsin to be the team that ruins the Wildcats perfect season?
Playing & Coaching Career
Bo started his basketball career as a point guard at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. As his career ended as a player he discovered that he wanted to coach.
After graduating, Ryan was a graduate assistant at Villanova University. He left Villanova and started working at the Dominican College of Racine, then moved to Sun Valley High School. While at Sun Valley, he got noticed and offered a job to be the assistant head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, under coaches Bill Cofield and Steve Yoder. After eight years of being an assistant, he accepted the head coaching position at the University of Wisconsin-Plattville where he stayed for 15 years, ending with a record of 352-76 (.820 win percentage). While at Plattville he won four Division III Championships and eight conference championships. Following his tenure at Plattville and a short stint at UW-Milwaukee where he was the first coach to have back to back winning seasons in over a decade, he moved on to Wisconsin.
Wisconsin highlights … and lowlights
- 2001-2002: Lost in the Second Round of the NCAA tournament, finishing the season 19-13.
- 2002-2003: Led the Badgers to Ryan’s first Sweet 16 appearance, finishing the season 24-8.
- 2003-2004: Lost in the Second Round of the NCAA tournament, finishing the season 25-7.
- 2004-2005: The Badgers made it to the Elite 8 for the first time under Ryan, finishing the season 25-9.
- 2005-2006: The Badgers lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament, finishing the season 19-12.
- 2006-2007: Lost in the Second Round of the NCAA tournament, finishing the season 30-6.
- 2007-2008: Lost in the Sweet 16, finishing the season 31-5.
- 2008-2009 & 2009-2010: The Badgers lost in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament finishing the seasons 20-13 and 24-9.
- 2010-2011 & 2011-2012: The Badgers lost in the Sweet 16, finishing the seasons 25-9 and 26-10.
- 2012-2013: Lost in the Second Round of the NCAA tournament, finishing the season 23-12.
- 2013-2014: Led the Badgers to the Final Four, finishing the season 23-12.
- 2014-2015: The Badgers are back in the Final Four about to face undefeated Kentucky for the chance to play in the NCAA Championship.
- Brian Butch – Nuggets
- Devin Harris – Mavericks/Nets/Jazz/Hawks
- Marcus Landry – Knicks/Celtics
- Jon Leuer – Bucks/Cavs/Grizzlies
- Kirk Penney – Heat/Clippers
- Greg Stiemsma – Celtics/Timberwolves/Pelicans
- Alando Tucker – Suns/ Timberwolves
- Tony Bennett – Virginia
- Rob Jeter – Milwaukee
- Saul Phillips – North Dakota State and Ohio
- Howard Moore – Illinois-Chicago
He has also had five former players move on to assistant coaching positions.
Strange, But True
- Every year at Wisconsin, he has led his team to the NCAA Tournament.
- In 1972, he started out as a high school basketball coach.
- He has written four books.