‘Surreal:’ New Badgers AD Chris McIntosh describes ‘tremendous responsibility’

MADISON, Wis. — After nearly two decades as the athletic director at Wisconsin, Barry Alvarez is passing the torch to his former star player and protege.

Chris McIntosh was introduced as the Badgers’ new athletic director Wednesday after serving as Alvarez’s deputy athletic director for the past four years.

McIntosh’s first day is officialy July 1st, but McIntosh says the past 24 to 48 hours have been crazy, to say the least, and full of emotion.

“It was overwhelming,” McIntosh said during his introductory press conference Wednesday. “It was a tremendous amount of emotion. It was surreal. And at the same time, I felt very proud. It’s a tremendous honor and a tremendous opportunity and a tremendous responsibility.”

McIntosh says he shared a moment with Alvarez on Tuesday night that he will remember for a long time.

“It was a big warm hug and a smile and an embrance that I’ll never forget,” said McIntosh. “For me, this opportunity feels much like the opportunity that was given when I was offered a scholarship here in 1994. It was surreal.”

Despite the natural progression from Alvarez to McIntosh, the man now in charge of Badger athletics says he doesn’t just want to be viewed as carrying the baton.

“That’s not what’s needed here,” McIntosh said. “We’re facing significant real challenges and there’s likely some challenging times ahead and that’s going to take a concerted effort for us to work shoulder-to-shoulder moving forward.”


McIntosh says he doesn’t wish to be compared to Alvarez or Pat Richter, saying that is a “losing proposition.” Instead, he says he wants to be authentic and focus on growing, building and advancing Badger athletics.