Image courtesy of Wisconsin basketball twitter
Just two days after winning a share of the Big Ten title, it was announced that head coach Greg Gard was named Big Ten coach of the year.
The award comes after Gard led the Badgers to eight straight wins to close out the regular season to earn a share of the Big Ten title for the first time since 2015.
Gard becomes just the second coach in Wisconsin history to receive the honor. Bo Ryan is the only other head coach in UW’s history to do so, having done so in 2002, ’03, ’13 and ’15.
The award comes on the heels of an incredible turnaround for the Badgers. After starting out the season 5-5, UW turned around their fortune and capped off the season 16-5 to finish 21-10 and win a share of the Big Ten regular season title. In the midst of it all was the Howard Moore tragedy before the season, Micah Potter’s battle with the NCAA, the departure of Kobe King, suspension of Brad Davison and resignation of longtime strength and conditioning coach Erik Helland.
The remarkable season ends with the Badgers ranked No.18 in the AP poll which is up from No. 24 a week ago after being unranked all season. The coaching staff, led by Greg Gard, has done an incredible job and the Badgers are playing their best ball right before postseason basketball.
Greg Gard led a final push that saw Wisconsin win their final eight games in order to put themselves in a position for the one seed in the Big Ten tournament. The final stretch came after the Badgers were just .500 in conference in early February with students of Ogg hall calling for him to be fired. Just a few weeks after fans called for Gard to be fired, he has won coach of the year in the deepest conference in the country.
The Badgers are off until Friday where they will await the winner of Michigan vs Rutgers in the quarterfinals in the Big Ten tournament. The game tips off at 11 CT on Friday.