Bucks' 5-point plan for change

Part 4: Bring in the NBA's 'Barry Alvarez,' a confident culture-changer

CREATED Jan 8, 2013

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  • Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE - When Barry Alvarez stepped into the coaching role more than 20 years ago at the University of Wisconsin, the Badgers had won one bowl game in its history, and it had never won the Rose Bowl.

Alvarez turned that around in four short years at UW.

The culture changing came from the first meetings he had with his players and with the public.

He projected confidence, suggesting that fans order season tickets soon because they wouldn't be available after the team began winning

He then demanded in his team's first meetings that his players turn off their headphones, remove their hats and remove their losing ways.

They had to treat each other as men, be accountable to each other and to him, and to believe they could win at a place where often, the only W's could be found on the team name and helmet.

Now, the Badgers are a year-in, year-out Big Ten contender with six Rose Bowl appearances under Alvarez as head coach and athletic director.

The Bucks have to discover such an Alvarez, in a league culture where demanding head coaches often find themselves on scrap heaps or heading to college coaching, where the inmates don't run the asylum - unlike the NBA.