Former Hawkeye hoops star Dean Oliver is returning to the Big Ten Conference — as a Wisconsin Badger. 

Oliver, a three-time all-Big Ten guard, was announced as a Badger assistant coach Thursday.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be joining the men's basketball staff at the University of Wisconsin,” Oliver said in a news release. “It is truly a dream to coach at such a prestigious, storied Big Ten program."

The Mason City product averaged 14.9 points and 4.8 assists per game as an Iowa senior before playing nine seasons professionally, including two in the NBA.

Oliver, who has coached for six years, has held assistant roles with North Dakota and Illinois State before returning to a Power Five conference. 

“I have been impressed with (Oliver) over the years and, after getting to know him better through this process, it became easy to see why he has been so successful in the past as a player and most recently as a coach," Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard said. "Everyone I talked to about Dean had the utmost respect for his leadership, teaching abilities and passion for helping student-athletes.”

During his Iowa days, Oliver started all but two games for the Hawkeyes, earning third-team all-conference honors after his final three seasons. He won a Big Ten tournament title with the Hawkeyes and helped lead Iowa to the NCAA Tournament twice. 


In 2015, Oliver was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association basketball Hall of Fame.