- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Let me give a salute to Bo Ryan, who will step down as coach of the Wisconsin Badgers after next season.
I have always appreciated the way that Ryan gets the most out of his players. Think about what Wisconsin was before he took over as head coach there. It is truly an amazing story.
Over the last two seasons, he has led the Badgers to the Final Four. This year, he got to the final game after giving Kentucky its first L of the campaign. The Badgers battled and battled against Duke in the title game before the Blue Devils prevailed.
Think about what a great season it was. The Badgers finished 36-4, with wins over Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona, Oklahoma, Oregon and Georgetown plus a 16-2 mark in the rugged Big Ten. Wisconsin was a hard-working squad, holding opponents on average to just 58 points per game.
He has won at least 19 games and made the NCAA tournament in all 14 seasons with the Badgers so far. Ryan has never had a losing Big Ten record.
What a career he has enjoyed. It goes all the way back to his high school days, then his four championships at Wisconsin-Platteville, and in Madison. He has always been a winner.
Ryan is all about being a teacher and motivator. It is all about his kids. The coach has always done things his way, with discipline, shot selection, and playing great team defense.
His teams are always prepared to perform at the highest, most efficient level. They execute, they share the ball and always take high-percentage shots. They understand how to play the game of basketball, and it's all because of Ryan's teaching ability.
The fans in Madison have been very fortunate to have a future hall of fame coach in Ryan on that sideline. He has been a flat out winner in every way.
We are going to honor to have Ryan, Good Morning America host Robin Roberts and Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer at the Dickie V gala next May 13 for the Jimmy V Foundation. That will be a very special evening, a special sendoff for Ryan.
I wish him all the luck in the world when his career ends. He is far from finished as the Badgers will be a force to deal with during the 2015-16 season.