Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez will return to coaching in a bowl game for the second time in three years after Gary Andersen left to take the Oregon State job.
Alvarez will prepare the Badgers for their Jan. 1 Outback Bowl matchup against Auburn, the school announced Thursday.
Also a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee this year, Alvarez is no stranger to the sideline. He’s the winningest coch in school history with a 118-74-4 record in 16 seasons.
The 68-year-old Alvarez, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, also took over in 2012 and coached in the Rose Bowl after Bret Bielema left for Arkansas. The Badgers lost 20-14 to Stanford in Pasadena.
Andersen’s departure Wednesday was as surprising as Bielema’s two years ago. Anderson left with a 19-7 overall record in two seasons.
Alvarez led Wisconsin to a win over Auburn in the 2006 Capital One Bowl in his final game before becoming the school’s ful-time AD.
Coaching in the bowl game will not jeopardize Alvarez’s position on the College Football Playoff selection committee.
“There’s no problem with Barry coaching the bowl game,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said Thusday, according to ESPN.com. “It doesn’t affect his ability to select the teams next year.”