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Barry Alvarez (born December 30, 1946 in Langeloth, Pennsylvaniamarker) is a former college football head coach and current Director of Athletics at the University of Wisconsin. Alvarez stepped down as head coach after the 2005 season, remaining as athletic director.

Early life

Barry Alvarez is a graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincolnmarker, where he played linebacker in the 1960s under Bob Devaney, who became one of his major coaching influences. He later became a head coach at Lexington, Nebraska High School and then Mason City High School in Iowamarker before becoming an assistant coach at first the University of Iowamarker Hawkeyes and then later at the University of Notre Damemarker Fighting Irish.


In 1990, Alvarez was named head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. He rejuvenated the floundering program and eventually became the winningest coach in school history. During his tenure, the Badgers won three Big Ten championships and three Rose Bowlmarker games.

Alvarez replaced Pat Richter as athletic director at the University of Wisconsin–Madisonmarker in 2004.

In 2000, Alvarez and his wife Cindy endowed a $250,000 football scholarship at the university. The book Don't Flinch is the autobiography of Alvarez' life, concluding with his selection of Bret Bielema as the head football coach to replace him.

Head coaching record

Life after coaching

Alvarez concluded his career at Wisconsin with a win over the Auburnmarker Tigers in the 2006 Capital One Bowl, bringing his all-time record at Wisconsin to 118–73–4 (.615), with three Rose Bowl wins and an 8–3 (.727) record in bowl games, the best winning percentage ever for a coach in Division I-A bowl games (minimum 11 bowl games coached).

On October 13, 2006, a bronze statue of Alvarez was unveiled in the Kellner Plaza of Camp Randall Stadiummarker. The statue honoring Alvarez had been announced the previous year, at his last home game as head coach.

During the 2006–07 bowl season, Alvarez worked as a color commentator/analyst for Fox Sports. He worked on both the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and 2006 BCS National Championship Game.


  • In 1994, Babcock Dairy Store, housed in Babcock Hall, (home of the UW–Madison's Department of Food Science, College of Ag and Life Sciences) developed an ice cream flavor called "Berry Alvarez" in honor of the coach - a mixture of raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry.
  • In 2001, Hispanic Business magazine named Barry Alvarez one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics.
  • The only Big Ten coach to win consecutive Rose Bowls. Only one of six coaches (regardless of conference) to win at least three Rose Bowls. Of these six, there are only two who never lost in a Rose Bowl: Barry Alvarez and John Robinson.
  • His three Rose Bowl wins are the only Rose Bowl wins for the University of Wisconsin (six games total with losses in 1953, 1960, and 1963).
  • The only Big Ten coach with any significant tenure versus the Jim Tressel-era Ohio State Buckeyes with a head-to-head winning record (3–1), including two wins at "The Shoemarker" in 2001 & 2004. His Badgers' 2003 victory against the then defending national champion Buckeyes snapped Ohio State's 19 game winning streak. At the end of the 2009 season, he remains the only Big Ten coach (and Wisconsin the only Big Ten team) with consecutive wins over Tressel's Ohio State teams (2003 & 2004).
  • Alvarez had six nine-win seasons. Prior to his arrival era, Wisconsin only had recorded only four in nearly 100 seasons.
  • Won the 1978 Iowa High School State Champs


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