Big Ten Conference names Barry Alvarez as Special Advisor for Football

July 22, 2021

ROSEMONT, Ill. – During his opening address at 2021 Big Ten Football Media Days, Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren announced that Barry Alvarez has been named Special Advisor for Football. Alvarez will begin his new role on August 2, 2021.

A legendary figure in both college football and the Big Ten Conference, the former University of Wisconsin head football coach and Director of Athletics earned membership in the College Football, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Wisconsin Halls of Fame.

“Barry has been blessed with an illustrious career in college athletics and his impact on college football and the Big Ten Conference has been significant,” said Warren. “He understands the history and traditions of the Big Ten. I trust Barry and we look forward to working with him on relevant football-related issues and building upon the strong relationships we have with the College Football Playoff, our broadcast and bowl partners, as well as our member institutions and student-athletes.”

Alvarez concluded his 32nd year at the University of Wisconsin in 2021, including his 18th as Director of Athletics and after serving as head football coach for 16 seasons (1990-2005). Alvarez concluded his career leading the Badgers in June 2021.

Following his arrival at Wisconsin in 1990, Alvarez led Wisconsin to the first Rose Bowl victory in school history in just his third season as head coach. One of just 16 football coaches in Big Ten history to win at least 100 games at one school, Alvarez retired from coaching after the 2005 season as Wisconsin’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 119-74-4. He led the Badgers to three Big Ten titles, three Rose Bowl victories and coached Heisman Trophy winner, running back Ron Dayne (1999).

Alvarez was named Director of Athletics in 2004 and spent two years in the dual roles of Director of Athletics and head football coach. Wisconsin enjoyed remarkable success during Alvarez’s tenure at the head of the athletic department, winning a combined 16 team national titles and 74 conference regular-season or tournament crowns. In 2017-18, he earned Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year honors.

Big Ten Conference ( is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $240 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013.