Wisconsin Wrestling Coach Barry Davis Resigns After 25-Year Tenure

By Andy Vance on March 5, 2018 at 2:57 pm
University of Wisconsin Athletics

A wise philosopher once said that things rarely end well, otherwise they wouldn't end. When it comes to big-time college coaching gigs, the sentiment is almost a truism.

Barry Davis, a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Olympic silver medalist as a wrestler, will cap his 25-year tenure as the head coach of the Badgers with the 2018 NCAA Tournament in Cleveland. He announced his resignation Monday after a disappointing Big Ten season that saw his badgers win just three dual meets against six losses.

Davis coached 26 All-Americans, eight Big Ten champions and three NCAA champions while at Wisconsin. He was named NWCA National Coach of the Year in 2010 after leading UW to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA championships, arguably the pinnacle of his coaching career.

"I want to thank Barry for all he's done for Wisconsin wrestling throughout his time here," Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. "I've known Barry for a long time, back to my days as an assistant coach at Iowa and he is one of the most genuine people I've ever met. He has left an indelible mark on Wisconsin wrestling."

Davis is Wisconsin's all-time winningest coach and led the Badgers to 15 top-20 finishes at the NCAA championships. Although seven wrestlers earned automatic qualification to the NCAA Tournament, the Badgers finished just sixth in the Big Ten Tournament Sunday, with 67 team points.

Three wrestlers won NCAA titles under Davis: Jeff Walter in 1996, Donny Pritzlaff in 2000 and '01, and Andrew Howe in 2010.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Wisconsin," Davis said. "I've worked with lots of great people and many tremendous student-athletes. This University will always hold a special place in my heart."

Prior to being named the head coach at Wisconsin, Davis spent seven years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Iowa. While a student at Iowa under legendary coach Dan Gable, Davis won four Big Ten titles, earned All-America honors all four years and won three NCAA Championships. A two-time Olympian, he won a Silver Medal at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

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