Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Legends of the Fall, Chapter 4
Born just before 1946 became 1947 and raised in Langeloth, Barry Alvarez was an outstanding football player at Burgettstown High School in the early 1960s under the direction of head coach Pat McGraw.
Enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame earlier this year and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2008, Alvarez is probably the only Burgettstown graduate with an ice cream flavor "Berry Alvarez" named after him.
Alvarez played for legendary Bob Daleny at Nebraska where he was a guard and linebacker from 1965-67, then worked as an assistant under Hayden Fry at Iowa and Lou Holtz at Notre Dame. Alvarez even coached high school football but made his biggest impact as head football coach at Wisconsin.
When he arrived in Madison in 1990, the Badgers hadn't been to a Rose Bowl since 1963 and the football program was losing money and games (36 over the previous four seasons) at an alarming rate.
In 1994, Alvarez snapped Wisconsin's long Rose Bowl drought and led the Badgers to a 21-16 victory against UCLA. He added two more Rose Bowl victories in 1999 and 2000 and took on the role of athletic director in 2004. After two years of handling both duties, Alvarez stepped down as coach with a record of 118-73-4.