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Volume 24 No. 112
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Minding My Business: Univ. Of Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez

Name: Barry Alvarez

Position: Univ. of Wisconsin AD

Where I’m from: Langeloth, Penn.

Where I call home: Madison, Wisc.

Focusing on right now: The start of the school year and getting my staff and everyone on the same page, and getting the school year and sports teams off to a good start.

Best advice: My advice to young coaches and people in this business, whether it be administration or in coaching, is remember why we’re in the business. We’re in the business because of the student athletes and always keep that as a priority.

People I admire: I admire my family. As a coach, sometimes it is not easy being a part of the head coach’s family, especially when things aren’t going well and they have to deal with it. But my family has always been supportive. I started out as an assistant in high school when I was first married, and my wife supported me there all the way through until we got into the college level. Then you have kids and you’re on the road so much with this job and recruiting, etc. Yet my family has always been very supportive.

Must have for a new hire: They have to understand our culture. I want people to understand the culture we have here at Wisconsin. I want them to be smarter than me, and that’s not real hard. I like people to pay attention to detail because that’s opposite of me. I’m looking for people that don’t punch a clock. In other words, they’re coming in and whatever it takes to get the job done they’re going to get it done.

Book shelf: I happen to know JAMES PATTERSON. His wife SUE is a former swimmer of ours. I was an avid reader of his before I met him and I got every one of his books. Now, for the last I don’t know how many years, he sends me every book he writes. And that is probably six or seven a year. I really enjoy him and anything LEE CHILD writes.

Must-have music: I love music. Normally I have to have some kind of noise going on. My wife laughs about that, but there has to be either a TV on or music on or something. In my office, I listen to iHeart Radio’s Club Jam. I like Top 40 and just a lot of different music. My car radio is set to Kiss 100 in New York and the one in L.A. I’ve also got The Groove, some oldies and soul stations on in my car.

First thing in the morning: Between my wife and I, first one up makes the coffee and goes out and gets the papers. We sit together and read three newspapers and have our cup of coffee. I read the local newspaper, USA Today and then the N.Y. Times. If I am on the road I will always read the local paper.

Talking tech: I’m a neophyte on technology, and that’s why I hire people that can do it. I don’t use or read social media. Other than emails, I’m not a techie person.

Food for thought: I like all foods as long as it’s prepared well. I like fine dining and I’m very easy to please. I will try any foods. I really don’t have any one favorite food. I’m very diverse in that. My wife loves to cook, and she wants to try different things, and I oblige her by eating it. I’m an investor in Ruth’s Chris Steak House. They have very good steaks. We have a great one here in town that I do a radio show at once a month.

How I unwind: I’m a very social person, my house is always open. I have friends stop by all the time. I love to be outside when the weather permits. I have a nice pool and outside area with a cabana and will always have friends and family out there listening to music, visiting, eating some snacks and maybe having a cocktail.

Day in the life: The great thing about this job and one of the reasons I really enjoy the job is that there is not a cookie-cutter day. Every day offers something a little different. There’s always different issues that you have to deal with, different presentations and groups that you have to address. With 23 sports and a big fan base, there is always something that you have to deal with. That’s the challenge of the job, and at the same time that is the part of the job I enjoy.