Ryan Pioneers way back to Platteville

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoEight years later, the University of Wisconsin-Madison men’s basketball head coach Bo Ryan feels as though he never really left UW-Platteville.“The nice part is that (in) the 15 years there and then the years since, I’ve stayed in touch with all those people (at Platteville),” Ryan said at his press conference Monday. “It’s as if you’re still around; it’s as if you’re still down there in the community.“Platteville has never really left in my mind.”Usually one to chat about his hometown of Philadelphia, Ryan is now talking about Platteville because UWP will honor him Saturday by naming the court of Williams Fieldhouse “Bo Ryan Court.”Ryan’s head coaching career started at UW-Platteville, and he made the most of his first opportunity. With the Division III Pioneers, Ryan established himself as one of the top coaches in the country. Behind a stifling defense that set the all-time single-season Division III opponent’s scoring margin in 1996-97 (47.5 points per game), Ryan compiled 353 total wins and four national championships (1991, 1995, 1998 and 1999).And even now that Ryan has moved on to bigger and better things at UW-Madison, he remains concerned about UW-Platteville and the improvements he can make happen there.“The nicest part about the whole thing Saturday is going to be that there is going to be a lot of improvements at UW-Platteville as a result of all the fundraising efforts that they made around this court naming,” Ryan said. “It will be emotional, but what’s really neat is that something’s going to happen as a result in the future.”Despite being gone from the program for eight years, Ryan still can’t help but reminisce about the successes he had at UW-Platteville.After all, it was there that Ryan made coaching connections that are still intact today. UW assistant coach Greg Gard is a UWP alumnus and has been at Ryan’s side since 1993. Also, current UW-Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter played for Ryan at Platteville and later joined him on the sidelines as an assistant coach.And it was Jeter, the captain of UW-Platteville’s 1991 national championship team, who Ryan credits for helping him jump-start his successful career as a Pioneer. However, Ryan believes the best part about that team was simply the group of guys he was able to bring together.“Led by Robbie Jeter and his brother, Carlton … that group that won in ’91, that was senior dominated — guys who had come through a lot, guys who got to Platteville in a lot of different ways,” Ryan said. “I mean, you name it, we had a guy from about every walk of life at Platteville that you could have on that team.”There will be a reception before the ceremony that Ryan’s wife, Kelly, will speak at. Ryan himself doesn’t anticipate making a speech, although he did have a certain request.“The only people I ever spoke to during the games were the officials,” Ryan joked. “And I asked if I could have a conference with them, but that got nixed.”While Ryan will be honored by UW-Platteville Saturday, another personal honor for him will be that his current team will be making a pit stop to join him on the way to Iowa.“I was just talking to Tucker one day about what was going on, and Alando said that he’d like to be there,” Ryan said. “I was just going to go down separately, but we got practice at Iowa City so we have to get ready for a game on Sunday.“That’s a pretty good stopping-off place on the way to Iowa City.”Men’s hoops news and notesWith last weekend’s win at Illinois, Ryan has now led the Badgers to victories in every Big Ten arena. The only other current Big Ten head coach to achieve this is Michigan State’s Tom Izzo … Kammron Taylor became the 31st player in UW history to reach 1,000 points Saturday with 20 points against the Illini … Wisconsin has won 15 consecutive games — the longest active streak in the nation.last_img

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