Former Wisconsin players offer tributes to Bo Ryan

Longtime Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan announced yesterday that he would coach one more season and, not surprisingly, the tributes from former players poured in.

The most heartwarming tribute, however, came from reigning College Player of the Year and Badgers fan favorite Frank Kaminksy, who was recently selected ninth overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Posting on his personal Facebook page, Kaminsky posted a truly soul-baring message in his homage to Ryan.

“When I found out that next season would be Coach Ryan’s last as the head of Wisconsin’s Men’s Basketball program I had many mixed feelings. My first reaction was to call a few guys on the current team and see how they were handling the news. After talking to them I called Coach and he told me that in every one of his 40+ seasons as a head basketball coach his 100% focus and attention has been on the success and growth of the young men in his various programs. When and if it ever came to a point where he didn’t feel he was able to do that he would leave coaching. I appreciated hearing this from him, but in reality the reason I called was just to talk…to hear his voice. This is the man who saw something in me at a time when very few did. He took an 18-year old kid and helped him become a man both on and off the court. No words can accurately describe what Coach Ryan has meant to me and how he has changed my life. It makes me happy that the best part of his decision is that he is not done yet. For one last year, everyone will see the same fire and passion he has brought every single day throughout his long and successful career.”

Ryan’s last season will be his fifteenth in Madison.

The team has gone 357-125 (172-68 Big Ten) under his watch and has made the NCAA Tournament in each of his seasons. Ryan has been to the Final Four twice and the championship game once, falling to Duke last season, and has three Big Ten championships.

For his career, which also included stints at Milwaukee and the D-III Wisconsin-Platteville, Ryan owns a record of 740-228.

Needless to say, the man shall certainly be missed.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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