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Wisconsin removes interim tag from Greg Gard, Bo Ryan's replacement

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Wisconsin rewards Gard with five-year deal (1:56)

ESPN basketball Insider Jeff Goodman explains why Wisconsin removed the interim tag from Greg Gard and name him head basketball coach. (1:56)

Wisconsin removed the interim tag from Greg Gard and named him the new head coach of the Badgers.

The board of regents approved the contract Monday, the school announced in a statement.

"It's an honor and a privilege to be named the head coach at the University of Wisconsin," Gard said in the statement.

"It's been a long journey over the last quarter-century or so, but for me to be able to spend my entire career in this state and be surrounded by such incredible support has been vital to my success," he said. "I am so grateful to everyone who has played an integral part in my development."

Sources confirmed to ESPN that Gard signed a five-year contract.

"As I said many times throughout the past weeks, I've been very impressed with the job Greg has done with this team -- not just from a wins and losses perspective but also in terms of player development and making necessary adjustments," Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said in the statement. "It became clear to me as the season wore on and I was able to observe Greg both on and off the court that he was the right person to lead our men's basketball team."

A source told ESPN that a news conference could be Tuesday.

Gard, 45, was promoted following Bo Ryan's sudden retirement announcement Dec. 15. The Badgers were 7-5 at the time but finished 20-11. During Gard's three months in charge, Wisconsin notched wins over Maryland, Michigan State, Iowa and Indiana.

Wisconsin will face the winner of the Nebraska-Rutgers game Thursday in the Big Ten tournament. Gard had coached with Ryan for 23 seasons at Wisconsin-Platteville, Milwaukee and Wisconsin. The past 15 seasons were in Madison with the Badgers.

The Wisconsin State Journal first reported the news Monday afternoon.