Wisconsin Class of 2014 commitment George Panos (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) said to his father in jest how it would be great to see Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez coach the team in the Rose Bowl.
Someone was listening, as that is exactly what will happen New Year's Day.
“I joked with my dad [former Badgers captain and NFL lineman Joe Panos] saying the best thing that could happen would be if [Alvarez] came back and coach, which most likely won’t happen but that’d be awesome,” Panos said.
Although Alvarez won’t be the long-term coach in Madison, Panos is confident Alvarez will make the right hire and remains committed.
“He knows what he’s doing. He’s great at his job. He got heat for hiring Coach [Bret] Bielema but that turned out great,” he said.
Panos found out Bielema was leaving for Arkansas during school when he received a text message alert to his phone. He called his father, who then called a couple of people at Wisconsin to confirm the news.
“We’re all shocked but all taking the same approach. We’re going to sit back and wait and watch what happens and get a new coach and meet with him,” Panos said.
That does not mean Panos isn’t willing to start listening to other schools again. Panos’ father spoke with new NC State coach Dave Doeren on Tuesday, and the former Badgers assistant offered a scholarship to Panos. Doeren is already pushing for Panos to make a visit to NC State.
Panos isn’t ready to start traveling around, but that could change over the next few weeks.
“What we’re thinking is we don’t know who is going to leave with him. If a bunch of assistants leave, I’ll be committed but I’ll be neutral,” Panos said. “I’ll let all the process happen again.”
Nebraska and Pittsburgh have also offered the 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive guard.