MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin football fans quickly grew impatient as big-name coaching candidates sidestepped the Badgers' overtures, and the questions percolating through the state in recent days weren't flattering.
Judging from the overwhelming displeasure with the process, you'd have thought Wisconsin was the most repugnant armpit in all of college football.
What's wrong with the program? Why doesn't anyone want to coach here? Does athletic director Barry Alvarez know what he's doing with the hiring search?
Alvarez had been in Wisconsin long enough to know how fickle Badgers fans can be. So on Sunday, he spoke to a group of reporters and told the fan base not to panic. It hadn't even been two weeks since the last coach left, he said. He promised to hire a good coach who would help the program continue playing at a high level.
Two days later, Alvarez delivered a home run nobody saw coming — a hire that should be met with considerable optimism from a fan base once fraught with worry and dread.