Most of us probably remember Bo Ryan as a military general type of head coach, a 'my way or the highway' type of coach who controlled every aspect of a game from the sidelines. But what made him such a great coach was that he played a style that was always conducive to the type of teams that he had. If he knew that his teams weren't quite as athletically talented as the opposition, they would slow it down and make it possession game, trying to beat you with efficiency and smart play.
However, the 2014-2015 season is a perfect example of how flexible a coach has to be to do his job at the highest level. After all, the job of a coach during a game is to put his players in the position that best fits their talents so that they can perform to the best of their ability. With players like Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky, he played a style that was perfect for their talents as they lit up scoreboards on occasion en route to a National Runner-Up finish to the Blue Devils from Duke.
Easily the most legendary figure in the history of the Wisconsin Badgers basketball program, Ryan was enshrined into the Wisconsin Hall of Fame alongside Green Bay Packers legendary wide receiver Donald Driver. Between these two, this is certainly an incredible and undeniable Hall of Fame worthy class.
This is the sixth Hall of Fame that Bo Ryan has been inducted into, and with some mind blowing statistics such as his 747 wins, 19 championships of varying kinds and conference and national coach of the year honors, there's no wonder why Ryan was enshrined into the Hall of Fame of the state. While Ryan has been a finalist for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for two consecutive years, there is no doubt that he will be an inductee at some point or another.
In his fourteen years as the head coach of the Badgers, Bo Ryan never once had a losing season, brought home 7 Big Ten Championships. The Badgers went to the NCAA Tournament all 14 years of his tenure in Madison, going to two Final Fours and reaching the National Championship game before falling in a close game to the Duke Blue Devils.
Even if you take away the phenomenal success that Ryan had at the University of Wisconsin, there's a good chance he lands in the state's hall of fame. As a coach at UW-Platteville in 15 seasons, Bo Ryan lost only 76 games as a head coach, winning an incredible 82.2% of his games and winning four national championships at the Division III school.
The on the court success might even come up short when compared to the magnificent effect that Bo Ryan had off the court in his 31 years as a coach in Wisconsin college basketball between UW-Platteville, his two seasons at UW-Milwaukee and the 14 years at Wisconsin. He was awarded with the Coaches vs. Cancer award in 2013 given to a coach who has been extremely engaged in the programs efforts to raise money for research. Ryan and his family raised millions of dollars to help fund research against cancer in his times as a coach in Wisconsin.
Hats off to Bo Ryan, the legendary coach who has found his way into now six Hall of Fame's and certainly will find his way into many more, including the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame before it's all over.