(UPDATE: On August 12, 2015, Bo Ryan spoke at a charity golf event in Kaukana, and stated that he had no idea when he was actually going to retire. It still might be after the 2015-16 season, or it might be four or five seasons from now, according to Ryan.)
On Monday afternoon, the University of Wisconsin athletic department released a statement from Badgers head men's basketball coach Bo Ryan. In short: After discussions with athletic director Barry Alvarez, Ryan will coach one final season in 2015-16 before retiring.
Why is that the lead paragraph for an article on a Marquette-centric website? Well, as the purveyors of the finest Wisconsin cheapshots that you can find on the internet, we have to recognize that Badger Hate Week will be the most important BHW ever.
It's the last time that we will be able to fire our salvos of jokes about Ryan being a vampire that feasts on the life force of basketball in order to keep himself alive. No more BHW riffs about Ryan as The Grinch. Hell, depending on who they hire to replace him, it might be the last time that we can pile on UW about their atrociously slow speed of play, predilection towards redshirting everyone in sight, or openly referring to their team as The Swinging Buzzcuts.
On top of that, it will be the one and only time that Steve Wojciechowski will coach against Ryan in the Kohl Center. Ryan's record at home has been well documented, and it would be fantastic if Wojo could go into the Kohl Center and come away with a win in his first attempt to take just a little extra shine off of Ryan's fortress. Plus, a win by MU in December would even Wojo's record against Ryan at 1-1, and wouldn't that be a fun little going away present?
One final thing, in case I end up forgetting to bring it up in the midst of gloating about a MU win on December 12: Bo Ryan's retirement is not likely to be a good thing for Marquette. Given the Badgers' long history of success under Ryan, the chances that they manage to keep that up under their next coach is quite low. For the past 14 seasons, Marquette has been able to count on the RPI booster shot that came from playing the Badgers. If UW slips under Greg Gard or whoever the next coach will be, that RPI assist won't be as strong as it has been while Ryan was at the helm.
Heck, Marquette might even lose their recruiting advantage against Wisconsin. Bo Ryan was always going to go after guys that he saw as able to fit into his system. If he didn't see you as a fit for what he wanted to do, he wasn't going to recruit you. That freed guys like Duane Wilson, Wesley Matthews, Vander Blue, Steve Novak, Henry Ellenson, and Matt Heldt to pick Marquette over Wisconsin. UW's new coach might be less disciplined about his recruiting, thus putting Wojo in more of a competitive situation for Wisconsin's best players.
With a current record of 8-6, Bo Ryan is guaranteed to leave coaching with a winning record against Marquette. Come December, Marquette will get one final chance to hand him a loss, so let's be ready to invade the Kohl Center and take care of business one last time.