Former men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan was again named among the candidates for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 on Monday, the same day his retirement from the University of Wisconsin became official.
Ryan was one of 12 finalists for induction in the Class of 2015 but was not among the six chosen for basketball’s highest honor.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, NBA superstars Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming and former women’s star Sheryl Swoopes are among the first-time candidates on the ballot this year. There are more than 160 candidates total.
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The finalists will be announced on Feb. 12 during the NBA’s All-Star weekend, and those being enshrined will be unveiled April 4 in Houston before the NCAA championship game.
Ryan took the Badgers to the NCAA Final Four in his final two full seasons, leading UW to their first national title game since 1941 in April. He retired last week after compiling a 747-233 record in 32 years as a college head coach, including 364-130 with the Badgers.
He never missed an NCAA tournament with UW, and his teams won four Big Ten Conference regular-season titles and three Big Ten tournament crowns while never finishing lower than fourth in the league. Ryan retired as the Big Ten’s all-time leader in conference winning percentage at .717 (172-68).
The native of Chester, Pennsylvania, won four NCAA Division III national titles at UW-Platteville, and took the Badgers’ job in 2001 after a two-year stint at UW-Milwaukee.