Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan made another statement that seems to contradict his early-summer retirement that was scheduled to follow the 2015-16 season. In an interview with Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated, Ryan clarifies what was meant in the initial June statement. which came more than a month after he stated in early May that he had no plans of retiring in the near future.
Early in August, Ryan spoke to reporters at a charity golf outing and established that no decision had been made regarding his retirement. The veteran head coach said more of the same to Davis early this week:
Ryan, of course, had done no such thing. His statement made clear that he was going to coach only one more season, not at least one more season. When I spoke to him last week, he would not concede that he had backtracked on anything. Nor did he sound like he was in a retiring state of mind. “There isn’t any wishy washiness,” Ryan said. “People can interpret it any way they want, but in the state of Wisconsin you have to file papers to retire. There have been no papers filed. I’m going to decide after the season exactly what I’m going to do.”
The Davis report also reveals some of the details surrounding Ryan’s communication with Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez and the advice the long-time Badger football coach gave him. Assistant coach Greg Gard, Ryan’s choice for his successor if he were to have his way, is also interviewed in the story.
One thing is for certain, Ryan doesn’t sound like he’s fully committed to retirement following the 2015-16 season. As the Davis story notes, Ryan is in the midst of an exhausting two-year stretch that includes back-to-back Final Four appearances and a litany of speaking engagements and public appearances. Ryan has become a popular man in the state of Wisconsin — and basketball in general — and it might be starting to wear on him.
Thankfully, one of the game’s great coaches is reconsidering his initial thoughts and he might be around longer than we expected.