Greg Gard's wait is finally over.
The University of Wisconsin officially introduced the longtime assistant coach as the new head coach of the Badgers Tuesday afternoon. Gard is the 16th coach in program history.
"I'm extremely proud to be here as head coach at the University of Wisconsin," Gard said. "This place is special, this place is unique, we're so excited about the future."
Gard had served as interim head coach since Bo Ryan's departure in December. The Badgers went 12-6 in Big Ten play and finished tied for third in the conference standings. Wisconsin will play either Rutgers or Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament Thursday night.
Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said there were a number of factors that influence his hiring of Gard, but he was impressed by how Gard handled the transition to interim coach, and how he 'grabbed the bull by the horns' to install a new offense.
"Everything was A+. I just didn't see anything that was below standard," Alvarez said. "I just thought he did an excellent job of managing the entire job."
Gard described the past 24 hours as surreal, saying he's relied on a day-by-day focus his entire career. The Badgers, and largely the people that represent it, have kept Gard in Madison though.
"I think that's really what has made this place so special," Gard said. "Obviously the Kohl Center and facilities and this campus and this University are world-class, but the people have really put it over the top.
"That's really been the difference make for me, and hopefully it'll continue to be the difference maker in the future, and it'll be the difference maker for those that come here and play in the future and our student-athletes here."