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Bo Ryan reflects on journey to Final Four

4/3/14 - 10pm Live Badger Coverage: Bo Ryan reflects on journey to Final Four

ARLINGTON, Texas (WKBT) - Bo Ryan took over as Wisconsin's head coach in 2002, and the Badgers haven't missed the NCAA tournament since.

But this is his most memorable March Madness run yet.

Ryan spent Thursday giving the media a brief history lesson on how he ended up as the head coach of the Badgers in the first place.

"[I] go to Milwaukee, get a chance to be there a couple years and then Pat Richter called. It was the shortest conversation of all time," Ryan said.

"Bo, Yeah, who is this?
This is Pat.
Yeah, Pat.
He goes, Are you ready?
I said, You know I'm ready. And that was it."

14 years later, Ryan has Wisconsin back in the Final Four. He's two wins away from the program's first national championship since 1941.

"For Wisconsin, for the school, for everybody involved, and more importantly, for the young men that have run the hill, lifted in the weight room, put their sweat on that floor every day. It would be so exciting if we were to be the last team standing. I would just stand back and look at those guys and just smile inside and outside."

Winning national championships is nothing new to Ryan, however. He won four of them at UW-Platteville.

"I always promised my Platteville guys staying true in those National Championships that we had. We played in front of maybe 5,000. So I don't know what it's like being in front of 75,000. No matter whether it's Division I or Division III, you got to manage emotions and energy and try to channel it the right way."

Ryan was quick to point out many great coaches, Gene Keady being one example, who never got the opportunity to advance this far.

Ryan added he's still the same person now as he was a month ago.

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