Big Ten Announces 2015 Conference Schedule

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MADISON, Wis. – A little more than two weeks ago, the Big Ten Conference made history by announcing its 2014 league schedule, the first season the conference will have 14 teams and an East-West divisional split. After that announcement, the Badgers’ opponents and locations for the 2014 and 2015 seasons were known. Now the dates for the 2015 games have been set.

 The schedule features three home games in October, including a matchup with rival Iowa to kick off the league campaign on Oct. 3. The Hawkeyes have not played in Camp Randall Stadium since 2009. The two teams, which play for the Heartland Trophy, have not met since 2010 and will face each other in Iowa City in 2014.

 Including the opener against Iowa, Wisconsin plays its first four games of the Big Ten season against West Division foes. The Badgers visit Nebraska on Oct. 10, host Purdue on Oct. 17 and play at Illinois on Oct. 24.

 The Big Ten chose a unique time for Rutgers to make its first-ever trip to Madison as the Scarlet Knights will play UW in Camp Randall Stadium on Oct. 31, otherwise known as Halloween. The Badgers then travel to Maryland for the first time in school history to take on the Terrapins on Nov. 7.

 Following a bye on Nov. 14, UW wraps up its schedule with a pair of West Division games. The Badgers will play their home finale on Nov. 21 against Northwestern before closing the season in the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe against Minnesota for the second straight year. The game in Minneapolis will be played on Nov. 28.

 The 2015 Big Ten Championship Game will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Dec. 5.

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BIG TEN ANNOUNCES 2014 CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

 Big Ten’s 2014 schedule features new division alignment along with conference debut of Maryland and Rutgers

Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten office announced the conference schedule for the 2014 football season today, as approved by the Big Ten Directors of Athletics. The 2014 schedule will consist of eight games for each of the Big Ten’s 14 teams, feature a new division alignment, include the conference debut of Maryland and Rutgers and culminate with the fourth annual Big Ten Football Championship Game.

The 2014 Big Ten season begins on Sept. 13, with Rutgers making its Big Ten debut by hosting fellow East Division member Penn State. Maryland will take part in its first Big Ten game two weeks later on Sept. 27 with an East Division matchup at Indiana. Four other conference games will be held on Sept. 27, including two West Division matchups with Illinois at Nebraska and Iowa at Purdue and two cross-division contests with Minnesota at Michigan and Northwestern at Penn State. The Oct. 4 schedule will feature the Terrapins’ first home Big Ten game against fellow East Division member Ohio State along with an East Division matchup in Michigan at Rutgers and West Division contests in Nebraska at Michigan State, Purdue at Illinois and Wisconsin at Northwestern.

 From Sept. 27 to Nov. 29, the 2014 Big Ten schedule will feature 10 consecutive weeks of Big Ten competition, boasting at least five conference games each week. All 14 teams will be in action during the final two weeks of Big Ten play, including six division games each week. The final weekend of the 2014 season begins with Nebraska at Iowa in a matchup of West Division rivals on Friday, Nov. 28. The Saturday, Nov. 29, schedule feature two more West Division matchups in Illinois at Northwestern and Minnesota at Wisconsin, three East Division contests in Michigan at Ohio State, Michigan State at Penn State and Rutgers at Maryland and a cross-division game with Purdue at Indiana. The winners of each division will meet in the 2014 Big Ten Football Championship Game, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

 Beginning in 2014, the Big Ten football division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division. Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015, which will serve as transitional years in which the schools will still be playing eight-game schedules. Beginning in 2016, each school will play three teams from the other division as part of its nine-game schedule. The cross-division games will include one protected matchup on an annual basis between Indiana and Purdue.

 The Big Ten will hold the 2013 Football Media Days and 42nd annual Kickoff Luncheon on Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 and 25, at the Hilton Chicago, featuring all 12 head coaches and some of the nation’s top returning players. The 118th season of Big Ten football kicks off Thursday, August 29, and culminates with the third annual Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 7, to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and televised by FOX. The winner of the title game will earn the Big Ten Championship and a chance to play in either the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.

  Wisconsin Coaches vs. Cancer Raises Record $693,000 at Annual Gala

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MADISON, Wis. — Less than a month after being honored with the Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award at the Final Four in Atlanta, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan proved exactly why he earned such a prestigious honor.

 At last Saturday night’s annual gala, Ryan and the Wisconsin chapter of Coaches vs. Cancer teamed up to raise a record $693,000 toward the fight against cancer.

 An event which began in 2008 and raised $56,000, the Wisconsin Gala has ballooned into the largest Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising event in the nation.

 

“The Coaches vs. Cancer Gala was a phenomenal event and I’m so proud of the way our people stepped up. We were really blown away,” Ryan, who served as the national spokesman for Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers campaign, said after the event. “My wife, Kelly and I kept looking at each other throughout, just amazed at the generosity.

 “We set a record last year with $456,000 raised, and we were hoping to break that, but this was beyond our expectations. I’m always thinking about ‘Next,’ and this sets the bar pretty high for next year… but I think we can break it.”

 In an event jointly hosted by Ryan, UW-Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter, UW-Parkside coach Luke Reigel, UW-Platteville coach Jeff Gard, and Edgewood College coach Justin Meyer, the 2013 Wisconsin Coaches vs. Cancer Gala hosted a sellout crowd of more than 700 attendants. The evening featured dinner, a live auction and special guest speaker Tim Brando of CBS Sports. Like Ryan, Brando came away very impressed.

 

“I have been a part of many charity events on college campuses but never one as inclusive with other state schools in other divisions of intercollegiate athletics,” Brando said. “Bo has done a great job networking basketball and the fight against cancer in Wisconsin. The hospitality was tremendous and I was happy to play a role in the event’s success this year.”

 Over the past six years, Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin has raised more than $2 million to support the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives and create more birthdays by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures and fighting back. At the University of Wisconsin, the American Cancer Society has funded over $44 million in research since 1947.

 On April 5, Ryan was given the 2013 American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award, presented annually to a college coach who has been significantly engaged in the program’s fundraising, education and promotional initiatives and who has demonstrated leadership in supporting the American Cancer Society’s fight to save lives from cancer.

Walsh named Men’s Hockey Assistant Coach

MADISON, Wis. –– Matt Walsh casually left a “For Sale” sign on the kitchen counter Tuesday night when he got home from his day at the Kohl Center. It was a place he knew his wife Ann would see it. Not surprisingly, the sign piqued her interest and she asked Matt what was going on. He mentioned to her that he was thinking about selling something and after tossing around a few things, like his rarely-used bicycle and the family van, he made his way to the basement to continue unwinding for the day.

From what Matt says, it took Ann about seven minutes, not that he was counting, to come running down the stairs and exclaim, “You got the job!?”

The Walsh family had talked about what would happen if the day came when Walsh could take off the interim label from his title and become a full-time assistant coach for his alma mater. Currently living in Janesville, one of those discussions centered on whether a move closer to Madison would make sense, which is why Matt used the “For Sale” sign as the hint.

The family’s living arrangements may now be in question, but they know where Matt will spend much of his time next hockey season.

It now becomes a seamless transition for the Badger men’s hockey program as it moves towards its first season in the Big Ten Conference.

“I think having Matt with us since November, we were able to see first-hand how he interacts with college students and the work that he does on the ice,” said Head Coach Mike Eaves. “It became clear as time went on, that he was very capable of doing the job here.

“We also got to know him as a man, we got to know his family and it all matches up really well.

“We went through due diligence in the process,” explained Eaves. “We had many people apply. I talked to a handful of people who I thought might be serious candidates and chatted with them, but in the end it all came back to Matt and what he did for us this year.”

Walsh will continue his duties coaching the defensemen, while also getting more involved in recruiting.

“Since the end of the season, this has been a question mark,” explained Walsh. “I felt like I could do this and I wanted to do this. The interim position was good for me. It was like an internship where I got to really know what the job is like.

“Hockey has been a passion of mine for a long, long time and now I get to continue to help the program like I felt I did throughout the course of the year. I think going forward, the details I can work on with the players, especially the defenseman, and building on the relationships we’ve built to get what we need done will help make the players successful, the team successful and the program successful.”

Walsh’s Badger coaching career began last Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving and the day of the start of a Kohl Center series against Minnesota State. Following the weekend, the Badgers owned a 1-7-2 record.

After a full week in his role as interim assistant coach, Walsh and the Badgers skated 11 consecutive games without a loss and the squad began a four-month surge that culminated in a WCHA playoff crown and an NCAA tournament bid.

There were various factors that combined to fuel the turnaround, but as the coach of Wisconsin’s defensemen, the Badgers went on to lead all WCHA teams in league games with a 2.29 goals-against-per-game average. The team’s 2.12 goals-against-per-game average in all contests was good enough to rank sixth in the nation.

A member of Wisconsin’s 1983 NCAA championship team as a freshman defenseman, Walsh played for the Badgers from 1982-86, winning the WHA-TV Jim Santulli Seventh-Man Award his senior season.

As Coach-in-Chief for USA Hockey’s Central District since 1995, Walsh had been responsible for coordinating seminars for USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program over a six-state area. In 2003, Walsh represented USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program at an International Ice Hockey Federation World Development Camp, where he presented to coaches from around the world.

“From being entrenched in the Central District for USA Hockey, there are a lot of people you get to know here,” said Walsh. “And from working on a national level, whether it is with the coaching program, or the select festivals, you get to know people all across the nation. If I can add a few different areas and contacts for recruiting that maybe we haven’t been involved with before and that helps the program, which is a benefit.”

Throughout his time with USA Hockey, he has served as an evaluator for various USA Hockey Select 15, 16 and 17 teams. He also co-coached Select 15 and 16 district teams.

Head coach of Team Wisconsin from 1991-96 and again in 1998 and 1999, the Madison, Wis., native was also an assistant coach for the team from 1988-90. The team is made up of the top 20 seniors from Wisconsin.

From 1994-96, Walsh was head coach of the Stoughton High School squad.

“Wisconsin hockey is something I’ve been a part of since going to hockey games when I was eight years old,” Walsh concluded. “Now to actually come full circle as a coach here and try to improve the program and make it the best in the nation — that is the goal.”

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