With longtime athletic director and former coach Barry Alvarez set to retire from Wisconsin at the end of June, the university on Wednesday named a successor to lead the athletic program. The Badgers ultimately decided to promote from within, announcing that deputy athletic director Chris McIntosh will succeed Alvarez in the primary role.
McIntosh’s hire was recommended by chancellor Rebecca Blank and approved by the UW System Board of Regents on Wednesday morning. He is only Wisconsin’s third athletic director in the last 31 years.
“Chris is a natural leader who loves the Badgers and cares about our student-athletes,” Blank said in a statement. “He is uniquely positioned to continue our proud traditions of success on and off the field and doing things ‘the right way.’ Chris will build upon those traditions and has a strong vision for leading the program during a time of change in college athletics.”
McIntosh, who has served as the deputy AD for the past four years, will begin his new duties on July 1. Before being promoted to deputy AD in 2017, he previously acted as the department’s associate athletic director for business development, a role he started in 2014.
“I owe so much to the University of Wisconsin, and I’m deeply honored to be able to succeed Barry Alvarez,” McIntosh said. “We will build upon our legacy of success on the field of competition and support our student-athletes in the classroom, on campus and after college.”
McIntosh, 44, has deep ties to the Badgers program as a former player under Alvarez in the late 1990s. A 50-game starter in his four-year career, he was an All-America offensive tackle and Outland Trophy finalist in 1999 who was part of two Rose Bowl championship teams. McIntosh was also selected with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, but he retired after three seasons due to a neck injury.
Alvarez, 74, announced his retirement in April after serving as both a coach and later athletic director in a career spanning 31 years. Hired in 1990 to lead a downtrodden football program, Alvarez turned Wisconsin into a Big Ten power. The Badgers went from 1-10 in 1990 to 10-1-1 and a Rose Bowl title in 1993. Since then, Wisconsin football has enjoyed perennial success with 19 straight bowl appearances dating back to 2002.
McIntosh will be introduced as Wisconsin athletic director at a 3 p.m. ET press conference.