UW Health Sports Medicine 

Bo Ryan
Bo  Ryan

Head Coach

Record at UW:
321-121 (.726)

Since being hired as the head coach at Wisconsin, Bo Ryan has elevated the program to heights previously unseen in Madison. In 2014, Ryan and the Badgers climbed even higher, reaching the program's first Final Four since 2000 and winning 30 games for just the third time in school history.

With over 700 wins, 17 championships and countless conference and national coach of the year accolades, there is little doubt that Ryan is among the great coaches in college basketball history.

Now as Ryan enters his 31st season as a head coach in 2014-15 - his 14th atop the Wisconsin program - it's difficult to decide which is more impressive, his incredible longevity or his unparalleled success. It is, however, safe to say that the combination of the two is what elevates Ryan among college basketball's elite.

Owning the most wins in UW annals (321 entering 2014-15), Ryan became the 40th NCAA coach to reach the 700-win plateau and is one of just five active Division I coaches to reach that hallowed ground. Ryan's career winning percentage of .759 (704-224) is seventh all-time among coaches with 700 career wins. Among Div. I coaches in the 700-win club, Ryan's win percentage trails only John Wooden, Roy Williams, Jerry Tarkanian, Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski.

A member of five Halls of Fame, Ryan has been enshrined into the Wilkes College Athletic Hall of Fame (2003), the Delaware County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (2008), the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (2011), the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2011) and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame (2012).

Bo Ryan has won five Big Ten Championships at Wisconsin
Ryan's Honors
2002 Big Ten Coach of the Year
2003 Big Ten Coach of the Year
2003 NABC District 11 Coach of the Year
2004 NABC Guardian of the Game
2007 Clair Bee National Coach of the Year
2007 Adolph Rupp Cup National Coach of the Year
2008 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year
2008 NABC District 11 Coach of the Year
2009 NABC Outstanding Service Award
2013 Big Ten Coach of the Year
2013 Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award
4-time NABC Div. III National Coach of the Year
6-time WIAC Coach of the Year
Players in the NBA
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
Post-Season Play
2014 NCAA Div. I Final Four
2013 NCAA Div. I Second Round
2012 NCAA Div. I Sweet 16
2011 NCAA Div. I Sweet 16
2010 NCAA Div. I Second Round
2009 NCAA Div. I Second Round
2008 NCAA Div. I Sweet 16
2007 NCAA Div. I Second Round
2006 NCAA Div. I First Round
2005 NCAA Div. I Elite Eight
2004 NCAA Div. I Second Round
2003 NCAA Div. I Sweet 16
2002 NCAA Div. I Second Round
1999 NCAA Div. III National Champion
1998 NCAA Div. III National Champion
1997 NCAA Div. III Second Round
1996 NCAA Div. III Second Round
1995 NCAA Div. III National Champion
1994 NCAA Div. III Sweet 16
1993 NCAA Div. III Quarterfinals
1992 NCAA Div. III Third Place
1991 NCAA Div. III National Champion
1990 NAIA Third Round
1989 NAIA Third Round
1988 NAIA Third Round
1986 NAIA First Round
Individual Awards
• 5 AP All-American Honorees
• 20 All-Big Ten Honorees
• 2 Big Ten MVPs
• 2 Big Ten Sixth-Man of the Year
• 2 Big Ten Tournament MOPs
• 8 Big Ten All-Defensive Team Honorees
• 10 All-Big Ten Tournament Honorees
Academic Awards
• 44 Academic All-Big Ten Honor

Entering his 14th season as head coach at Wisconsin, Ryan has unquestionably established himself and the program among the most prestigious in college basketball.

Presiding over what is arguably the most successful 13-year stretch in UW history, Ryan's teams own:
• A .726 win pct. (321-121) overall
• A .703 win pct. (156-66) in Big Ten play
• A .903 win pct. (195-21) at home
• 5 Big Ten titles
• The 10 winningest seasons in UW history
• 5 players with AP All-America recognition
• 13 NCAA tournament, 6 Sweet 16s, 2 Elite Eights and a Final Four

With 321 victories since arriving in Madison, Ryan is the all-time wins leader at Wisconsin, surpassing the legendary Bud Foster (265). Ryan needs just three more Big Ten wins to supplant Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Walter Meanwell (158 wins) as the school's leader in conference wins.

Prior to Ryan's arrival in Madison, Wisconsin had never won more than 22 games in a season. Ryan's teams have averaged 24.7 wins in his 13 seasons. The Badgers have won at least 20 games overall and 10 Big Ten contests in all but one of the last 12 seasons.

Wisconsin's success in Big Ten play under Ryan is unmatched. His .703 (156-66) winning percentage in Big Ten games is the top mark in history among coaches (5+ years).

In 2010, Ryan earned his 100th Big Ten win, tying legendary Indiana coach Branch McCracken as the second-fastest coach in conference history to record 100 Big Ten wins, doing so in 140 games. Only Knight did it faster (131 games).

In 2002, Ryan's first season, Wisconsin earned a share of the Big Ten title for the first time since 1947. The next year, UW won the title outright, securing back-to-back championships for the first time since 1923 and 1924. Ryan led the Badgers to their first Big Ten tournament title in 2004. In 2008, Ryan and UW doubled up, winning the regular-season and tournament crowns in the same season for the first time in school history.

He is the first coach in conference history to lead a team to at least 11 Big Ten wins in each of his first four seasons. Prior to his arrival in 2001, UW had reached double digit conference wins just 11 times, and only three times since 1941. The Badgers have at least 10 conference wins in 12 of Ryan's 13 seasons, including a school-record 16 in 2008.

With Ryan at the helm, the Badgers have never finished outside the top four in the Big Ten standings. That run of 13 consecutive top-four finishes equals the longest run in Big Ten history, matching Purdue's string of 13 straight from 1920-32.

Wisconsin's run to the 2014 Final Four was just the latest postseason achievement in Ryan's career. The winner of four Div. III national championships at UW-Platteville, he has also guided the Badgers to the NCAA tournament in each of his 13 seasons. That run has included trips to six Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights and the 2014 Final Four. In the history of the NCAA tournament, Ryan is one of just three coaches to lead his team to the Big Dance in each of his first 13 seasons at one school (Mark Few 15, Rick Barnes 14).

Among active NCAA tourney streaks, UW's 13 straight under Ryan is the fourth-longest in the nation for a coach at one school (Duke 19, Michigan State 17 and Gonzaga 15).

UW's six Sweet 16 appearances in the last 12 years ranks among college basketball's best. Only three schools (Duke, Kansas and Michigan State) have advanced to more Sweet 16s than Wisconsin since 2003.

Ryan's 20 NCAA tournament wins are a school record, surpassing UW's nine total NCAA wins prior to his arrival.

In Ryan's 13 seasons, the Kohl Center has become one of the toughest places to play in America. The Badgers have compiled a 195-21 (.903) home record under Ryan, including a 97-14 (.874) mark in Big Ten games.

Over the last 13 seasons, UW's .903 home win percentage ranks as the fifth-best overall home record in the country. Ryan's teams own four of the eight longest home win streaks in school history, including a UW-record 38 straight home wins from Dec. 7, 2002 to Jan. 24, 2005.

Ryan's tenure has also coincided with capacity crowds at the Kohl Center. From 2003 to 2011, the Badgers sold out an incredible 143 consecutive games. UW has led the Big Ten in attendance in eight of the last 11 seasons and finished among the nation's top seven 14 years running.

Ryan was selected to serve as the head coach for Team USA during the 2009 World University Games in Serbia. Appointed by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Ryan led some of college basketball's top players into international play in July of 2009. The team brought home the bronze medal after posting a 6-1 record. Ryan's Team USA defeated gold medal-winning Serbia in the second round, but a one-point loss to Russia in the semifinals forced the U.S. into a third-place finish.

Held in high esteem by colleagues, Ryan has previously won two gold medals as an assistant coach, first with Virginia head coach Pete Gillen and the gold medal-winning North squad at the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival, and also with former Atlanta Hawks coach Lon Kruger and the United States' gold-medal winner at the 1995 World University Games.

Individual success has followed team success as a number of Ryan's players have earned notable honors and gone onto successful professional basketball careers.

Under Ryan's watch, five players have earned AP All-America recognition - Kirk Penney (HM in 2003), Devin Harris (2nd in 2004), Alando Tucker (1st in 2007), Jon Leuer (HM in 2011) and Jordan Taylor (2nd in 2011 and HM in 2012).

UW has also had a first-team All-Big Ten pick in 10 of Ryan's 13 seasons (Penney 2002-03, Devin Harris 2004, Mike Wilkinson 2005, Tucker 2006-07, Brian Butch 2008, Leuer 2011 and Taylor 2011-12 and Frank Kaminsky 2014).

Harris, the fifth pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, was also named the 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year and was a consensus second-team All-American. He was a finalist for national player of the year and finished second for the Bob Cousy Award. In 2009, Harris was selected for his first NBA All-Star Game after leading the New Jersey Nets with 21.3 points and 6.9 assists per game.

In 2006-07, Tucker became just the third consensus first-team All-American in school history, winning the Big Ten Player of the Year and Senior CLASS awards and joining Kevin Durant of Texas as finalists for every major national player of the year award. Tucker was a first-round pick of the Phoenix Suns in the 2007 NBA Draft.

In 2011, Taylor and Leuer became the first duo in UW history to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors in the same season. It was also the first time two Badgers earned All-America mention in the same season. Leuer would go on to be a second-round pick of the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2011 NBA Draft.

During his tenure in Madison, Ryan has coached seven players who have reached the NBA and numerous others who played professionally overseas or in the NBA Development League.

Bo Ryan and the words Coach of the Year go together like a pick-and-roll. After winning back-to-back Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in his first two seasons at Wisconsin, Ryan burst onto the national coaching landscape when he received the 2007 Clair Bee National Coach of the Year Award, which honors the men's Division I basketball coach who has made the most significant positive contributions to his sport during the preceding year. Ryan also received the Adolph Rupp Cup as the national coach of the year from the Commonwealth Athletic Club of Kentucky. He was also a finalist for a number of other national Coach of the Year awards, including the Naismith Award.

He followed that up by being mentioned as a finalist for a number of national Coach of the Year awards in 2007-08. He was named the Jim Phelan Coach of the Year by collegeinsider.com and was the runner-up to Drake's Keno Davis for AP Coach of the Year. Ryan was also named a finalist for the Phelan Award in 2009-10 in 2012-13.

In 2013, Ryan earned his third Big Ten Coach of the Year accolade and now trails on Gene Keady (7) and Bob Knight (5) for the most conference coach of the year awards.

During the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, Ryan's Badgers put together a remarkable two-year run. Wisconsin became a fixture in the top 10 and was one of just five teams in the country to win at least 30 games in each of those two seasons. UW's 61-11 (.847) record over that span trailed only Memphis, Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA.

The 2007-08 Badgers embarked on a record-setting season, establishing school marks for both wins (31) and conference wins (16). UW won its third Big Ten regular-season title in seven years and added the Big Ten tournament crown, winning both championships in the same season for the first time. A No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, Wisconsin advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third time in six years.

The 2007-08 success was built on the tremendous season Wisconsin enjoyed in 2006-07. The Badgers posted a then-school-record 30 wins and also spent 17 weeks ranked in the top 10. On Feb. 19, 2007, the program achieved its first-ever No. 1 ranking. The Badgers' 13 Big Ten wins were then the most in school history and earned them a second-place finish in the conference. Wisconsin was a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, the best seed in school history.

In his first season at the reins of the Badgers program, 2001-02, Ryan led an undermanned UW team to an improbable share of its first Big Ten championship in 55 years. Ryan had to juggle a lineup consisting of only eight scholarship players, including five players that had seen limited or no action on the collegiate level. The team would win 15 of its final 20 regular-season games en route to a share of the Big Ten title.

In just his second season in Madison, Ryan's Badgers set a school record with 24 wins and earned an outright Big Ten title and a trip to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16. The outright conference championship was UW's first since 1947, and the 12 league wins tied a school record set in 1912 and matched in 1914. Ryan earned his second Big Ten Coach of the Year award, becoming the first coach in league history to be so honored in each of his first two seasons.

In 2003-04, Ryan led Wisconsin to a 25-7 mark, setting a school record for wins in a season and posting the school's highest winning percentage since the 1941 team won the NCAA title with a 20-3 mark. UW went on to win the Big Ten tournament for the first time in school history.

In 2004-05, Ryan was named one of 20 finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award. Despite returning just one starter from the previous year's team, he led the Badgers to an appearance in the Elite Eight and a school record-tying 25 wins.

Dating back to his days as a high school teacher, Ryan has always valued the importance of academic success. During his 13 years at Wisconsin, the Badger men's basketball team has routinely posted a cumulative grade point average between 2.9 and 3.1, including a high of 3.04 in the fall of 2008.

On his watch, UW has boasted 44 Academic All-Big Ten honors, a figure that trails only Purdue and Northwestern in the Big Ten over that span.


Ryan has experience as a Division I head and assistant coach, as well as a Division III head coach and is well-respected throughout the college basketball world. At the 2004 Final Four, he was honored with the NABC Guardians of the Game Award for Service. The goal of the Guardians of the Game program is to focus attention on the positive aspects of basketball and the role coaches play in the lives of student-athletes and their communities.

In 2009, the NABC presented Ryan with the Outstanding Service Award "for his actions inside and outside the lines of coaching that have distinguished him as a valuable member of his community." Ryan is one of college basketball's most active participants when it comes to improving the game. In the past, Ryan has served on the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Issues Committee and on the Academic Progress Rate committee. Ryan currently serves on the board of directors for both the NABC and the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).

In 2013, Ryan was given the Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award, presented annually to a college coach who has been significantly engaged in the program's fundraising, education and promotional initiatives.

Since joining Coaches vs. Cancer in 2007, Ryan has raised over $2.5 million to support the American Cancer Society. His team of coaches in Wisconsin transformed the Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala from a small local fundraiser into the largest Coaches vs. Cancer gala in the nation.

Ryan and his wife, Kelly, have also issued a Charity Stripe Challenge at UW in each of the last two years, donating over $100,000 to the American Cancer Society based on UW student's participation and ability to make a free throw or half-court shot. Ryan is also very active in numerous other national and local charity efforts including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the UW Children's Hospital and the Memorial Veterans Hospital.

Ryan came to Wisconsin from UW-Milwaukee, where he spent two seasons coaching the Panthers to their first back-to-back winning seasons in eight years. UWM, 8-19 overall the year before Ryan arrived, went 15-14 and 15-13 in Ryan's two years at the controls. The program also experienced a 161-percent home attendance increase in his first season.

It was during his 15-year tenure at UW-Platteville (1984-99) that Ryan firmly established himself as one of the country's top coaches. He guided the Division III school to a phenomenal 353-76 (.822) overall record and, in his final 12 seasons, the Pioneers:
• Won four national championships (1991, 1995, 1998 and 1999)
• Compiled a 314-37 (.895) record
• Won eight WIAC titles
• Were the winningest NCAA men's basketball team of the 1990s (all divisions) with a 266-26 (.908) record
• Compiled a 30-5 NCAA Division III tournament mark
• Never won fewer than 23 games
• Compiled a 157-7 (.957) home record
• Set the all-time single-season Division III scoring defense mark (47.5 ppg) in 1996-97

On Jan. 27, 2007, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville honored Ryan by naming the Williams Fieldhouse basketball court "Bo Ryan Court."

Ryan was named the NABC Division III Coach of the Year four times and was tabbed the WIAC Coach of the Year on six occasions while at Platteville.

Ryan's coaching career began in the fall of 1972 at Brookhaven High School in Delaware County, Pa., where he was hired as a history teacher and head basketball coach.

After just one year at Brookhaven, Ryan began his collegiate coaching career in 1973 at Dominican College of Racine (Wis.). Serving as an assistant under Bill Cofield, the Dominican basketball team went 14-15 that year. That same season, Ryan would earn the first of many Coach of the Year honors in his career - this one coming as head coach of the Dominican baseball team.

In 1974, Ryan moved back to the Philadelphia area to serve as the head basketball coach at Sun Valley High School. He was promptly named Delaware County Coach of the Year in his first season after directing his team to a second-place finish in the Philadelphia Suburban League. His 1975-76 club was the first Sun Valley High team to qualify for the state tournament.

Ryan would move back to the collegiate coaching ranks for good in March of 1976 when Cofield again hired him as an assistant, this time at Wisconsin. Ryan spent eight seasons (1976-84) working under Cofield and Steve Yoder before taking over at UW-Platteville in the spring of 1984.

Since Ryan took over at Wisconsin, four of his former assistant coaches have gone on to take over Division I head coaching positions: Tony Bennett (Virginia), Rob Jeter (Milwaukee), Saul Phillips (North Dakota State and Ohio) and Howard Moore (Illinois-Chicago).

Ryan has also had five former players move on to assistant coaching positions, including Freddie Owens (Oregon State), Sharif Chambliss (Milwaukee), Tanner Bronson (St. Louis) and Joe Krabbenhoft (South Dakota State).


Ryan was born in December of 1947, just outside of Philadelphia in Chester, Pa. At Chester High School, he was a football teammate of longtime NFL coach Ted Cottrell. He attended Wilkes (Pa.) University, where he starred as a high-scoring guard and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1969.

Ryan authored his fourth book in 2008, an autobiography titled: Another Hill to Climb. He has also written three books on coaching basketball: Passing and Catching: A Lost Art; How to Run the Swing Offense; and Applying and Attacking Pressure. He has produced five basketball instructional videos as well.

Ryan and his wife, Kelly, have five children: Megan, Will, Matt, Brenna and Mairin. Ryan also has six grandchildren: Aoife, Imogen, Maeve, Owen, Liam and Callen.

Bo Ryan Career Coaching Record
Year University Record Pct. Conference Record Finish Postseason
1984-85 UW-Platteville 9-17 .346 WIAC 4-12 7th
1985-86 UW-Platteville 16-11 .593 WIAC 8-8 5th NAIA First Round
1986-87 UW-Platteville 14-11 .560 WIAC 6-10 T5th
1987-88 UW-Platteville 24-5 .828 WIAC 14-2 1st NAIA Third Round
1988-89 UW-Platteville 24-5 .828 WIAC 13-3 3rd NAIA Third Round
1989-90 UW-Platteville 26-3 .897 WIAC 15-1 1st NAIA Third Round
1990-91 UW-Platteville 28-3 .903 WIAC 13-3 2nd NCAA Champion
1991-92 UW-Platteville 27-4 .871 WIAC 13-3 2nd NCAA Third place
1992-93 UW-Platteville 24-4 .857 WIAC 13-3 T1st NCAA Quarterfinals
1993-94 UW-Platteville 23-5 .821 WIAC 13-3 2nd NCAA Sweet 16
1994-95 UW-Platteville 31-0 1.000 WIAC 16-0 1st NCAA Champion
1995-96 UW-Platteville 23-3 .885 WIAC 15-1 1st NCAA First Round
1996-97 UW-Platteville 24-3 .888 WIAC 14-2 1st NCAA Second Round
1997-98 UW-Platteville 30-0 1.000 WIAC 16-0 1st NCAA Champion
1998-99 UW-Platteville 30-2 .938 WIAC 15-1 1st NCAA Champion
1999-00 UW-Milwaukee 15-14 .517 Midwestern 6-8 T4th
2000-01 UW-Milwaukee 15-13 .536 Midwestern 7-7 5th
2001-02 Wisconsin 19-13 .594 Big Ten 11-5 T1st NCAA Second Round
2002-03 Wisconsin 24-8 .750 Big Ten 12-4 1st NCAA Sweet 16
2003-04 Wisconsin 25-7 .781 Big Ten 12-4 T2nd NCAA Second Round
2004-05 Wisconsin 25-9 .735 Big Ten 11-5 3rd NCAA Elite Eight
2005-06 Wisconsin 19-12 .613 Big Ten 9-7 T4th NCAA First Round
2006-07 Wisconsin 30-6 .833 Big Ten 13-3 2nd NCAA Second Round
2007-08 Wisconsin 31-5 .861 Big Ten 16-2 1st NCAA Sweet 16
2008-09 Wisconsin 20-13 .606 Big Ten 10-8 T4th NCAA Second Round
2009-10 Wisconsin 24-9 .727 Big Ten 13-5 4th NCAA Second Round
2010-11 Wisconsin 25-9 .735 Big Ten 13-5 3rd NCAA Sweet 16
2011-12 Wisconsin 26-10 .722 Big Ten 12-6 4th NCAA Sweet 16
2012-13 Wisconsin 23-12 .657 Big Ten 12-6 T4th NCAA Second Round
2013-14 Wisconsin 30-8 .789 Big Ten 12-6 T2nd NCAA Final Four
30-year Career Record 704-224 .759
13-year UW Record 321-121 .726 Big Ten 156-66 .703

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