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Report: Former coach Barry Alvarez to lead Wisconsin in Rose Bowl

The SportsXchange

It took a debut press conference at Arkansas to learn who will coach the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl.

Bret Bielema, who abruptly left Wisconsin earlier this week to take over as head coach at Arkansas, revealed during his first press conference as the Razorbacks' new head coach that Wisconsin athletic director and previous longtime football coach Barry Alvarez will coach the Badgers in their Jan. 1 Rose Bowl game against Stanford.

ESPN further confirmed that what Bielema said is true A formal press conference is scheduled for Thursday morning at Wisconsin's Madison campus to make the Alvarez announcement, as expected.

For Alvarez, it will be just a one-game return to the sidelines. He will not return as head coach permanently. ESPN reported that Badgers team captains asked Alvarez to lead them against the Cardinal in the historic Rose Bowl contest.

A College Football Hall of Famer, Alvarez has three Rose Bowl victories from his previous tenure as the Badgers' head coach. He retired as coach after the 2005 season to devote his full attention to being the school's athletic director, a role he assumed in 2004 in addition to his coaching responsibilities. In 16 seasons as the Badgers' head coach, Alvarez compiled a record of 118-73-4. Upon ending his coaching career, Alvarez made Bielema his hand-picked successor.

"The might finally win one," Bielema joked during his press conference, referencing that the Badgers lost two Rose Bowls while he was head coach.

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