3 worst head coach hires in Wisconsin basketball history

Wisconsin has been a basketball school through and through so when a coach isn't doing well, it does not go unnoticed.

Dec 8, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers mascot Bucky Badger with Wisconsin basketball players.
Dec 8, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers mascot Bucky Badger with Wisconsin basketball players. / Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports
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Wisconsin men's basketball has had its fair share of coaches. A lot of them have done fairly well with the Badgers, but some left fans wanting more. Greg Gard right now is doing fairly well with the Badgers with two regular-season conference titles and five NCAA Tournament appearances under his belt. So it is safe to say you won't be seeing Ward on this list now or anytime soon.

Bud Foster is the only coach to have taken the Badgers to the mountaintop and won a National Championship in 1941. With only one coach winning the title, it is not fair to judge coaches on that stat alone. When looking at the list of coaches, win percentage is what will be measured as a good coach or not.

Coaches also need to have coached for three or more years, so interim coaches, or coaches who were only kept around for a year or two and then cut loose also don't qualify. There needs to be a pattern of losing. So here are three of the worst coaches in Wisconsin basketball history.

Wisconsin MBB. 1960-1968. 100-114 overall record. player. John Erickson. . John Erickson. 3. 809.

John Erickson started coaching at Wisconsin in 1960 and coached there for nine seasons with only four winning seasons. His best season came in his third year in 1961-1962 when the Badgers went 17-7 and 10-4 in the Big Ten. Erickson never had a postseason tournament appearance.

In his first two seasons, Erickson went 4-10 in the Big 10 in both seasons and could not get double-digit wins in either season. Following his best season, Erickson had a fairly good season in 1962-1983 going 14-10 but just 7-7 in the Big Ten finishing sixth in the conference.

Things continued to go downhill from there as he followed that season with an eight-win season, a nine-win season, and an 11-win season. He finished tenth, eighth, and seventh in the Big Ten in those seasons.

Erickson was able to finish his career with the Badgers with back-to-back winning seasons of 13-11, but after the 1967-1968 season, Erickson resigned to become the general manager for the Milwaukee Bucks. Even though Erickson wasn't fired, it is not out of the realm to say it wasn't coming. Having not had any NCAA Tournament appearances is enough to choose to fire a coach.