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Ryan named men’s basketball coach

March 29, 2001

Bo Ryan, head coach at UW-Milwaukee the past two seasons, has been named head coach of the Wisconsin men’s basketball program.

Ryan is the second-winningest coach in NCAA Division III history. He has won 79 percent of his games during a 17-year head coaching career.

“We are extremely excited and very fortunate to have Bo Ryan join our basketball program,” says athletics director Pat Richter. “He is a coach with outstanding credentials and a proven history of developing young men, both on and off the court.”

Ryan forged his reputation as a head coach during a phenomenal 15-year run at UW-Platteville. Following an eight-year stint as an assistant coach to Bill Cofield at UW–Madison, Ryan took over at UW-Platteville at the beginning of the 1984-85 campaign. Following a three-year rebuilding period, Ryan’s Pioneers started a 12-year stretch during which they:

  • Won NCAA Division III national titles in 1991, 1995, 1998 and 1999.
  • Compiled a 314-37 record.
  • Won eight conference championships.
  • Were the winningest NCAA men’s basketball team of the 1990s (all divisions) with a 266-26 record.
  • Compiled a 30-5 NCAA Division III tournament mark.
  • Never won fewer than 23 games.
  • Compiled a 157-7 record on their home floor.

Ryan, a four-time NABC Division III Coach of the Year, has coached 17 seasons at UW-Platteville and UW-Milwaukee. The six-time Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year was 30-27 the past two seasons with the Panthers. He was an assistant coach for the Badgers from 1976-84.

Ryan served as an assistant coach for the 1995 gold medal-winning U.S. basketball team at the World University Games. He served in a similar role for the gold medal-winning North team (coached by Virginia’s Pete Gillen) at the 1993 Olympic Festival.

A native of Chester, Pa., Ryan is a 1969 graduate of Wilkes (Pa.) College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration after a career as a high-scoring guard in college. After doing graduate work at Villanova, Ryan accepted an assistant coaching position at the College of Racine. His first head coaching job was at Sun Valley High School in Philadelphia, where he was named Delaware County Coach of the Year.

Ryan’s salary requires approval by the UW System Board of Regents at their April 6 meeting.