HE'S BACK!

Alvarez after the '06 Cap One Bowl (BN File)

After Bret Bielema stunned Wisconsin by taking the head coaching job at Arkansas Tuesday, Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez pulled his own stunner Thursday, announcing his intention to coach the Badgers in the 99th Rose Bowl January 1 against Stanford.

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MADISON - The Rose Bowl just got a lot more interesting.

Returning to the sideline in a place where he had his biggest successes, Barry Alvarez is coming out of retirement to serve as the Badgers' head coach for the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 against No.8 Stanford.

Alvarez announced that decision during a Thursday morning press conference at the Kohl Center.

The move comes less than 48 hours after former coach Bret Bielema informed Alvarez that he was taking the head coaching job at Arkansas.

Alvarez, 65, served as Wisconsin's head coach from 1990-2005 and went 3-0 in Rose Bowls, the last victory coming against Stanford in the 2000 game. He handpicked Bielema to succeed him as coach before moving into the AD role.

Recently elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, Alvarez guided Wisconsin's football fortunes for 16 seasons (1990-2005). He has been at the forefront of the revival of the Badger athletic program during his entire tenure in Madison. He piloted Wisconsin to three Big Ten and Rose Bowl titles (including back-to-back in 1998-99) en route to becoming the winningest football coach in school history (118-73-4 record).

Alvarez was just the 10th coach in Big Ten history to win 100 games at one conference institution. The 1993 national coach of the year, he was a two-time (1993 and 1998) Big Ten coach of the year and a finalist for ESPN's coach of the decade (1990s) honor. He received the Victor Award's 1999 National Coach of the Year accolade and was the 2004 AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year.

Alvarez retired from coaching at the conclusion of the 2005 season in order to concentrate solely on running the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Alvarez File

• Coached nine first-round NFL draft choices (Troy Vincent, Aaron Gibson, Ron Dayne, Chris McIntosh, Jamar Fletcher, Michael Bennett, Wendell Bryant, Lee Evans and Erasmus James) at UW.

• Coached 59 NFL draft choices at Wisconsin.

• Coached 34 All-Americans, including seven consensus first-team choices, at Wisconsin.

• Coached 62 first-team All-Big Ten selections at Wisconsin.

• Coached 119 Academic All-Big Ten selections at Wisconsin.

• Big Ten-record 10 straight seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher (1993-2002).

• Four Big Ten Defensive Players of the Year.

• Two Big Ten MVPs.

• Two Big Ten Offensive Players of the Year.

• Three Big Ten Freshmen of the Year.

• Three Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship teams (the only other Big Ten coach with at least three Rose Bowl wins was Ohio State's Woody Hayes).

• Eleven bowl qualifiers.

• Coached or played in 22 bowl games (at Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Iowa and Nebraska).

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