Former Wisconsin head football coach Barry Alvarez will return to lead the Badgers in the Rose Bowl.
Alvarez and the Badgers will face No. 8 Stanford on New Year's Day. The school made the announcement Thursday, two days after Bret Bielema left to take over at Arkansas.
"I'm very excited about coming back," Alvarez said. "This will be a one-game -- I'm not looking to do it any longer than one game."
Bielema surprising departure came three days after Wisconsin earned a school-record third straight Rose Bowl appearance with a 70-31 win over Nebraska in the Big Ten championship. The buzz quickly focused on a return by Alvarez, at least for one game.
Also, Alvarez told reporters Thursday that the Badgers won't pursue former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst for the vacant coaching job.
Alvarez stepped down as head coach after the 2005 season, compiling a 118-73-4 record in 16 seasons, including a 3-0 mark in the Rose Bowls. He has since remained highly visible within the football program as Wisconsin's athletic director. The players convinced him to return, notably senior quarterback Curt Phillips and captain Mike Taylor, who said the team decided they wanted him as their Rose Bowl coach.
"I told him I would be honored to coach them," Alvarez told reporters. "I wanted them to understand, if I was going to coach them, we weren't going to screw around, we were going to go out there to win."
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- Barry Alvarez
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