UW Health Sports Medicine 

Lucas at Large: Turnout for speech speaks volumes about Alvarez

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The lobby of the W Hotel was a Who's Who of college football Monday afternoon. Lou Holtz was holding court for UW athletic director Barry Alvarez, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, and Arizona head coach Mike Stoops. Also joining the group was Jay Norvell, the co-offensive coordinator for the Sooners and a former Alvarez assistant with the Badgers.

Later that night, Alvarez was honored during a reception at Maldney & Porchelli (a steakhouse on East 50th Street between Park and Madison Avenues). The guest list was impressive.

In one corner of the room was South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and his wife, Bob Stoops and his wife, and former Iowa coach Hayden Fry and his wife. In another corner of the room were Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and the conference's director of officiating, Bill Carollo.

You couldn't walk anywhere in the room without bumping into a former Alvarez player, including Troy Vincent, Vitaly Pisetsky, Chris McIntosh, Tarek Saleh, Matt Bernstein, Chad Cascadden, Jim Sorgi, Brooks Bollinger and Travis Beckum.

UW head coach Bret Bielema was there, so was his offensive coordinator, Paul Chryst. Pat Richter was there, so was Al Toon. Henry Mason was there, so was Chuck Heater.

Alvarez had friends there from his hometown of Burgettstown (David Vallina, Phil Mavrich and Pat Gallagher). And he had friends there from one of his first coaching stops, Mason City, Iowa (Scott Raridon and Ed Lenius). Mostly he had friends there. Here, there, everywhere.

He had plenty of family there, too - wife Cindy and the kids and the grandkids.

Holtz spoke. So did UW chancellor Biddy Martin. Richter spoke. So did Commissioner Delany. Bollinger spoke - from the heart - and twice had to stop to collect himself after being overcome with emotion. Might have been one of the most heartfelt tribunes I've ever heard.

Alvarez spoke, of course. And Tuesday night, he spoke again during a black tie banquet at the Waldorf Astoria. Alvarez spoke for all of the members of the 2010 college football Hall of Fame class. And that speaks volumes for Barry Alvarez - Hall of Fame coach.


What a Coach!! Three Rosebowl victories, two Capital One Bowl Victories. My family and I were there for both Capital One bowl games...Absolutely GREAT times!!! Actually, I believe that wisconsin may be the only team to win back-to-back Capital One bowl games too in addition to the back-to-back Rose bowl wins!! VERY Proud of this program, and our teams!! Congratulations on this very special occasion!!

This is a great tribute to Mr. Alvarez, who stayed the course, and to Wisconsin, which is unlike any other place for realizing dreams. No better example of this than Brooks Bollinger.

While not the protoype quarterback, Brooks Bollinger was a great football player at Wisconsin, and always a "Big Heart" guy, playing like a man twice his size. He is a winner in every sense.

It was wonderful that so many Badgers turned out for this event.