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A call to the hall


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May 27, 2010

The Alvarez Era  Hall of Fame Badgers  |  Alvarez Reacts Small Video Graphic  |  Alvarez Q&A College FB HOF Class of 2010

Barry Alvarez
 What They're Saying About Alvarez
Biddy Martin, UW Chancellor
“I am delighted that Barry is being honored for having transformed Badger football with this induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. His ability to help players develop and use their potential on and off the field is now legendary, as is his remarkable success on the field.”

Pat Richter, former UW Director of Athletics and fellow College Football Hall of Famer
“Barry’s induction into the College Football Hall of Fame is most deserved. His accomplishments in the collegiate coaching profession are well-documented and his success at Wisconsin is unparalleled. His record of accomplishments in bowl games, and, in particular, his back-to-back Rose Bowl victories, will likely never be matched.”

Ron Dayne, 1999 Heisman Trophy winner
“This is a great honor for Coach Alvarez. He was a big part of my success and was one of the main reasons I came to Wisconsin. I loved playing for him. He always knew how to get the most out of our team and push us to be great. Congratulations Coach Alvy!”

• James E. Delany, Big Ten Commissioner
“I want to congratulate Barry Alvarez on his selection for the College Football Hall of Fame. Barry led a historic turnaround of Wisconsin football, taking a program that had qualified for only six postseason games prior to his arrival to 11 bowl trips and eight bowl victories over his last 13 years on the sidelines. He remains the only Big Ten coach to win back-to-back Rose Bowls, ended his career as the winningest coach in Wisconsin history and is one of only 12 Big Ten coaches to win 100 or more games at a single school. Barry was dedicated to making his players a success, both on the field and in the classroom. For all of these accomplishments, he will be an outstanding addition to the College Football Hall of Fame.”

Bret Bielema, UW head football coach
“I was sitting next to Coach Alvarez at the Big Ten meetings when it was announced that he was going to be inducted and it was a very special moment and something I’ll always remember. For him to be a unanimous selection shows what people think of the outstanding job he did here at Wisconsin. I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave me and it was an honor to be on his staff for two seasons. This is the pinnacle of college football and a well-deserved honor.”

Hayden Fry, former Iowa head coach and fellow College Football Hall of Famer
“Coach Barry Alvarez is an outstanding addition to the College Football Hall of Fame. His record and achievements as a high school coach, college assistant coach, and head coach at the University of Wisconsin are truly remarkable. Coach Alvarez has always been a first class leader for his student-athletes and coaching staff. I am extremely happy that he will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He has earned this great recognition with class.”

Darell Bevell, Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator and former Badgers quarterback
“Coach Alvarez deserves this honor and I’m proud to say I played for him. Knowing his personality, he’s going to say it was the players who made the Wisconsin program. But believe me, Coach Alvarez made our teams more than they we were as individuals. He had the ability to get the most out of everyone on the field. He made us better than we even thought we could be. What Wisconsin football is today, is directly because of Barry Alvarez. Those Rose Bowl trips wouldn’t have been possible without him and I’m excited for him to go into the College Football Hall of Fame.”

Joe Rudolph, Wisconsin assistant coach and member of Alvarez’s first UW recruiting class
“The first thing I remember about Coach Alvarez is the vision he had for the program when he came to Wisconsin. He walked into our living rooms and talked about playing for and winning Big Ten championships and Rose Bowls. In the McClain Center, at the top of the tunnel we walked through every day on the way to practice and games, it said 'The Road to the Rose Bowl Begins Here.' Those are the types of things he set as the standard for this program and he never flinched and never wavered from that. He was someone we absolutely loved to play for. He brought a toughness and mindset and you just wanted to jump in. I feel very privileged and honored to be a part of this program and to be able to say that he was my head coach.”

Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings head coach and former UW assistant coach
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of being voted into the College Football Hall of Fame than Barry Alvarez. What he did in the decade of the '90s alone, at Wisconsin, with three Big Ten Championships and three Rose Bowl victories stands alone. Put next to it a highly successful career now as Athletic Director and earlier as a top assistant at Notre Dame and Iowa and you have the true earmarks of a Hall of Famer.”

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez, the winningest football coach in school history, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2010, the National Football Foundation announced Thursday. Alvarez won 118 games in his 16 years on the Badger sideline, including three Big Ten titles and three Rose Bowl Championships.

“Obviously this is a tremendous honor for me,” Alvarez said. “I’m thrilled. I’m humbled. When you’re selected primarily by your peers to go into a hall of fame, one that means so much to me, naturally, it’s very rewarding.”

2010 College Football Hall of Fame announcement photo gallery

Alvarez is one of only 12 head coaches to win at least 100 games at one Big Ten institution. His Badger teams were at their best in the postseason as his 8-3 career record in bowl games is the best in NCAA history among coaches with at least 11 bowl appearances. A two-time national coach of the year, Alvarez coached 62 first-team All-Big Ten selections, 59 NFL draft choices, 34 All-Americans and nine NFL first-round picks.

“I am delighted that Barry is being honored for having transformed Badger football with this induction into the College Football Hall of Fame," UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin said. "His ability to help players develop and use their potential on and off the field is now legendary, as is his remarkable success on the field.”

Alvarez is the ninth Badger (the first since 1996) to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, joining Dave Schreiner (Class of 1955), Pat O’Dea (Class of 1962), Robert Butler (Class of 1972), Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch (Class of 1974), Alan Ameche (Class of 1975), Marty Below (Class of 1988), Pat Harder (Class of 1993) and Pat Richter (Class of 1996).

The College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010 will be inducted at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7, 2010 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. They will be officially enshrined in 2011.

“Barry’s induction into the College Football Hall of Fame is most deserved,” former UW Director of Athletics Pat Richter said. “His accomplishments in the collegiate coaching profession are well-documented and his success at Wisconsin is unparalleled. His record of accomplishments in bowl games, and, in particular, his back-to-back Rose Bowl victories, will likely never be matched.”

Alvarez took over a Wisconsin team that had won just nine total games the previous four seasons. The Badgers won just one game in Alvarez’s first season, 1990, but combined for 10 wins in 1991 and 1992. UW’s breakthrough came in 1993 when it won a school-record 10 games, capturing the Big Ten title for the first time since 1962. Wisconsin won the 1994 Rose Bowl, defeating UCLA, 21-16, for the first Rose Bowl victory in school history.

Alvarez and the Badgers qualified for bowl games in three of the next four seasons, winning the 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl and 1996 Copper Bowl. In 1998, UW opened the season 9-0 on its way to its second Big Ten title in six seasons. Wisconsin’s opponent in the Rose Bowl was once again UCLA and the Badgers came out on top, 38-31, to set a school record with 11 wins.

UW made history the following season, capturing another conference title and becoming the first team in Big Ten history to win back-to-back Rose Bowls, defeating Stanford, 17-9. Running back Ron Dayne also became the second player in school history to win the Heisman Trophy, finishing his career as college football’s all-time leading rusher.

“This is a great honor for Coach Alvarez,” Dayne said. “He was a big part of my success and was one of the main reasons I came to Wisconsin. I loved playing for him. He always knew how to get the most out of our team and push us to be great. Congratulations Coach Alvy!”

Alvarez’s final six teams qualified for five bowl games and won at least nine games three times. He recorded his 100th career victory with a win over UCF in the 2004 season-opener. The following year, he and the Badgers celebrated the re-dedication of Camp Randall Stadium, which underwent a $109 million renovation under his watch.

Badger football reached unparalleled popularity during the Alvarez era. In 1989, UW averaged 41,734 fans at its six home games. From 1993 on, the Badgers’ average home attendance exceeded 75,000 fans and ranked among the top 16 nationally each year. Wisconsin played before a sellout crowd at Camp Randall Stadium in 71 of Alvarez’s last 81 games on the sidelines.

“Any time that you win an honor such as this, it’s not one person.” Alvarez said. “It’s about the accumulated work of a number of people. From a staff, a very loyal staff that came to the University of Wisconsin and believed in the plan that I had and worked very hard to get it done, to a group of players that bought in and changed the culture, not only in our football program, but changed the culture of our athletic department while we were here.”

In addition to being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Alvarez was also enshrined in the Wisconsin State Athletic Hall of Fame and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2009. He joins Hayden Fry and Lou Holtz, coaches he worked under at Iowa and Notre Dame, respectively, and Bob Devaney, the coach he played for at Nebraska, in the College Football Hall of Fame.

A coach becomes eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame three years after retirement, providing he: (1) was a head coach for at least 10 years; (2) coached at least 100 games; and (3) won at least 60% of his games.

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