UW-Platteville coaches are Backing Bucky and Bo Ryan

PLATTEVILLE (WITI) -- The Badgers are in Texas practicing and getting ready to take on the University of Kentucky Wildcats in the Final Four on Saturday -- but no matter where the team plays, there's a piece of Coach Bo Ryan that forever remains in Platteville.

Ryan served as head coach of the UW-Platteville Division 3 men's basketball team from 1984 to 1999, and those still at the college say he's more than ready to take on the NCAA Tournament.

"You always want to call in and say, 'listen, this guy's been there five times to the Final Four and bringing back four national titles to Platteville," said Jeff Gard, who used to coach with Ryan at Platteville.

Gard's brother, Greg, is currently serving as the Badgers assistant coach. Gard says no one deserves this more.

"I'm very excited, a little emotional, as well. You can definitely see where these guys have come from, the time all of those guys in this whole program have put in, it's great to see they're being rewarded, as well," said Gard.

Platteville coach Brad Stangel played for Ryan when the team won a championship in 1998. He says Ryan sticks to the routine.

"He might take them out to a nice Texas restaurant, but that's pretty much the only thing different that they'll do," said Stangel.

Win or lose come Saturday, Stangel says Ryan already has some of his greatest successes under his belt.

"I think one of the biggest accomplishments that Coach Ryan is going to have is that he'll go down there and play a game on Saturday, and there are going to be a lot of people who feel that they're a part of it," said Stangel. "He just has that way of drawing everybody closer together."

Stangel says he believes the Coach Ryan will lead the Badgers to a win on Saturday.