Varsity is the free Official Online Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.
Issue link: http://catalog.e-digitaleditions.com/i/121135
BEHIND THE DESK B A R RY A LVA R EZ ��� UW DIREC TOR OF AT H L ET IC S Looking forward to continuing the ride W here I grew up in western Pennsylvania, everybody was blue collar and looked to the day when they could retire. I���ve never thought that way ��� along the lines of how long I���m going to do something. I���ve always enjoyed what I do for a living, and I just go. I���m looking forward to the next five years and I���ll keep going as long as I keep enjoying it and they want me here at Wisconsin. In coaching, the greatest reward is watching the athletes grow as you work with them on a day-today basis. In this job, it���s just seeing the success of our teams. I���ve surrounded myself with quality people and it���s fun interacting with them ��� from administrators to coaches to everyone that works within the athletic department in all areas. I go about my job as athletic director like I went about coaching: I want to keep improving. In this case, I want to continue upgrading our facilities and I want to keep improving our on-field product. The game day experience is the next thing all of us in the business are addressing. I don���t think there���s ever been a higher interest in college football and basketball. It���s an exciting time. But it���s our job to keep people in the stadium and not price ourselves out of things. We���ve put a lot of thought into this and hopefully our fans will appreciate some of the things that we 16 �� VARSITY APR I L 11, 2013 will be doing in the coming years to make the in-stadium experience better. I���ve been following some of the things that the NFL has been talking about recently, including putting cameras in the locker rooms to provide some insider access to the people in the stadium. That really all ties in together with giving someone who comes to the game something extra ��� something that they wouldn���t have by staying at home and watching the game on their HD television. I���ve received a lot of positive feedback since it was announced that we would be playing Alabama in the 2015 season opener at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. We���ve been working on this for awhile. The fact that the game���s matchmakers would come after us ��� and put us in the same league with Alabama ��� really speaks to the quality of our football program. I think there���s place for these games that are played off campus at neutral sites. If we go to nine conference games in the Big Ten, you���re not necessarily going to be getting seven home games every year, and that���s what everybody builds their schedule around. Every other year, you���ll play four league games at home; making scheduling harder because of the commitment to play BCS opponents. Those are home-and-home deals, not one-year buy-ins. We���re doing research on all of this, but you���re probably going to see more neutral site games. Years ago, we played in a similar type of thing to the Cowboys Classic. We opened the 1997 season by playing Syracuse in the Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium outside New York. It was exciting for me to be involved in something like that and it was good for the program even though it was not a pretty game. We were young and Syracuse had Donovan McNabb. In my entire coaching tenure at Wisconsin, it was one of the best teams that we���ve played. We lost but we still got something out of the experience. That season we found a way to win eight games. The next two years weren���t bad, either. We won back-to-back Rose Bowls.