Barry Alvarez is close to retirement as Wisconsin's athletics director, according to a report Saturday from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Alvarez, 74, has been Wisconsin's AD since 2004, a 17-year run that followed 16 seasons as the Badgers' head football coach. He is as singularly responsible for building the Wisconsin athletics department as any individual at any school.
Shown above in his debut season of 1990, he arrived in Madison following three years as Lou Holtz's assistant at Notre Dame and eight seasons under Hayden Fry at Iowa, Alvarez went 1-10 his first year in Madison, 5-6 his next two, then turned Wisconsin into one of the most consistent winners in college football.
Alvarez built a program built on home-grown offensive line talent, an effective running game and complimentary defense, going 120-73-4 with three Rose Bowl victories. His 1993 team was the breakthrough, going 10-1-1 with a Big Ten title, a Rose Bowl win and a No. 6 final ranking -- the program's first Big Ten crown in 30 seasons and its first Rose Bowl win ever.
His Wisconsin program peaked in 1998-99, going a combined 21-3 with two Big Ten titles, back-to-back Rose Bowl victories and the school's first Heisman Trophy winner, FBS rushing record-breaker Ron Dayne. Aside from his Rose Bowl teams, Alvarez produced five bowl victories and three AP Top 25 finishes. Alvarez followed Fry and Holtz into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
The last major head football coach to pull double-duty as an AD for his final two seasons on the sideline, Alvarez handed the program to Bret Bielema and became Wisconsin's full-time AD in 2006, and in the ensuing decade and a half the Badgers have continued playing in the image he created.
The most consistent winner in the Big Ten aside from Ohio State, Wisconsin has appeared in four post-Alvarez Rose Bowls, won three Big Ten titles, and enjoyed 11 AP Top 25 finishes.
Wisconsin also appeared in two men's Final Fours under Alvarez's watch as AD, reaching the title game in 2015.
According to the report, Alvarez will announce his intent to step aside sometime in the next few weeks, with an official hand-off point expected to occur this summer. Deputy AD Chris McIntosh has been groomed to succeed Alvarez since his 2017 hiring.