Byrne is off and running at Wisconsin - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Byrne is off and running at Wisconsin

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Thursday the Wisconsin men's and women's track and field teams headed to Purdue University for the Big Ten Championships. The Badgers will be led by first year program director Mick Byrne. Byrne inherited the men's program from legendary Wisconsin coach Ed Nuttycombe who announced his retirement in June 2013. Under Nuttycombe the Badger men claimed 26 Big Ten titles and the 2007 men's indoor National Championship. You'd think, following a 22-time Big Ten Coach of the Year has to be pressure for Byrne, right?

"No," Byrne said at the UW Coaches Monday Presser Conference.

"I mean, I worked alongside Coach Nuttycombe for five years. I think I served my apprenticeship. I couldn't think of a better person to learn the trade from."

"I'm a competitor. That's why I came to Wisconsin many moons ago. And I get excited about these postseason competitions. Everybody knows that. I'm excited about where we're at right now with both programs. I think I've learned well from Coach Nuttycombe."

Byrne learned well enough to help the Badger men win the 2014 Big Ten Indoor title in his first conference championship meet at the program's director. Coach Nuttycombe was there at the meet to see his apprentice continue on the Badger tradition. Nuttycombe doesn't sense that his successor feels the pressure of following his impressive track record in Madison.

"He's never conveyed any pressure, so I assume that's the case," Nuttycombe said.

"He's never mentioned it to me. I think he's handling it very well. Very pleased with where things are and it's going to be fun to see where he'll take it from here."

The men's and women's Big Ten Track and Field Championships will take place May 16-18 in West Lafayette, IN.

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