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Wisconsin promotes Gard to head coach

Wisconsin Badgers guard Bronson Koenig (24) consults with interim head coach Greg Gard during the game with the Michigan Wolverines at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin defeated Michigan 68-57. (Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange

Greg Gard signed a five-year deal to become head coach at Wisconsin, where he was interim coach for more than two months after replacing Bo Ryan on Dec. 15.

“It become clear to me as the season wore on I was able to observe Greg both on and off the court and he was the right person to lead out men's basketball team,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said.

Gard said he was honored to be head coach at the University of Wisconsin.

The 45-year-old Gard was promoted when Bo Ryan abruptly retired, after a victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Gard had been an assistant under Ryan for parts of 23 seasons.

In the past 13 games, the Badgers are 11-2 under Gard's guidance. Wisconsin is 25th in the Coaches poll and 26th in the AP Top 25 poll.

The Badgers (20-11, 12-6 Big Ten), who closed the regular season with a 91-80 loss at No. 15 Purdue on Sunday night, will open play in the Big Ten tournament on Thursday as a No. 6 seed against either Nebraska or Rutgers.