Subscribe Register Login

Tuesday, September 02, 2014, 2:19 a.m.
Top Picks - Mobile App

Bielema named head coach at Arkansas

By Matt Jones

This article was originally published December 4, 2012 at 2:06 p.m. Updated December 4, 2012 at 7:24 p.m.

nwa-mediamichael-woods-12052012-bret-bielema-the-new-university-of-arkansas-head-football-coach-speaks-to-the-media-during-a-press-conference-wednesday-afternoon

NWA Media/MICHAEL WOODS --12/05/2012-- Bret Bielema, the new University of Arkansas head football coach, speaks to the media during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Do you agree with Bret Bielema's hiring as Arkansas football coach?

  • Yes 85% 2560 votes
  • No 14% 422 votes

2982 total votes.

Bret Bielema Introduced at Arkansas

University of Arkansas athletics director Jeff introduces Bret Bielema as the Razorbacks' new football coach on Wednesday. (By Logan Wilson)
[View Full-Size]

More from WholeHogSports

Recruits react to the hiring of Bielema

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema holds up the trophy after Wisconsin defeated Nebraska 70-31 to win the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game Sa...

— After nearly eight months of searching, Arkansas finally has its new football coach.

Bret Bielema accepted the Razorbacks' coaching position Tuesday, ending a 7-year run as head coach at Wisconsin. He will be formally introduced at a 4 p.m. press conference on Wednesday.

Bielema went 68-24 as coach of the Badgers. His .739 winning percentage is the ninth-highest among active college head coaches who have at least five years experience.

“I am very humbled and honored to become the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks,” Bielema said in a release through the UA. “During my conversation with Jeff (Long) he described the characteristics for the perfect fit to lead this program. It was evident we share the same mission, principles and goals."

Under his tutelage, Wisconsin has won three consecutive Big Ten championships, including a 70-31 win over Nebraska in the league's title game last Saturday.

His teams recorded at least 10 wins four times and will appear in their third consecutive Rose Bowl next month. Bielema is not expected to coach the Badgers (8-5) in the bowl game against Stanford. Wisconsin is 2-4 in bowl games under its former coach, including a 0-2 record in the Rose Bowl.

To conclude the 2006 season, Wisconsin beat Arkansas 17-14 in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla. The Badgers finished 12-1 that year, their best record under Bielema.

"Coach Bielema has led his team to a historic run of championships while seeing a record number of student-athletes recognized for academic achievement," UA athletics director Jeff Long said in a release. "Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a commitment to competing for a national championship with a program known for discipline, honesty and integrity. His tough, aggressive style of play has been successful and will be appealing to student-athletes and Razorback fans."

Bielema, 42, played college football at Iowa and began his assistant coaching career there in 1994. He spent eight seasons with the Hawkeyes before moving to Kansas State as a co-defensive coordinator in 2002.

He was hired as Wisconsin's defensive coordinator in 2004 and promoted to head coach following Barry Alvarez' promotion to athletics director in 2006.

"I was very surprised when Bret told me he was taking the offer from Arkansas," Alvarez said in a statement. "He did a great job for us during his seven years as head coach, both on the field and off. I want to thank him for his work and wish him the best at Arkansas."

According to the Associated Press, Bielema's Arkansas contract is for six years and is worth $3.2 million. According to those figures and based on an adjusted USA Today list of college football coaching salaries, Bielema would be the 10th-highest paid coach in the country next year.

Bielema's Wisconsin contract paid him more than $2.6 million per year and ran through 2016. Reports Tuesday indicate his buyout there was $1 million.

Bobby Petrino, the former Arkansas coach who was fired in April for misconduct, made $3.56 million annually as part of a seven-year contract signed in 2010. His buyout was $18 million for the first two years.

Forbes rated the Razorbacks as the eighth-most profitable college football program last year at a value of more than $89 million, helping the school spend millions on facilities upgrades.

"The infrastructure in place at Arkansas shows the commitment from the administration to accomplish our goals together and I am excited to begin to lead this group of student-athletes," Bielema said. "This program will represent the state of Arkansas in a way Razorback fans everywhere will be proud of.”

Among the additions are a football operations center scheduled to be completed next summer and outdoor practice fields completed earlier this year valued at more than $40 million combined. The university announced earlier this week it will perform a cost analysis to potentially expand its football stadium with a project that could cost as much as $95 million.

Bielema succeeds John L. Smith at the helm of Arkansas' program. Smith signed a short-term contract in April and was reassigned to an administrative position last weekend. The Razorbacks, which combined for 21 wins in the two years prior, finished the 2012 season with a 4-8 record.

Comments on: Bielema named head coach at Arkansas

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

Subscribe Register Login

You must login to make comments.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 36 total comments

Jump to last page >>

HotSpringsLawyer says... December 4, 2012 at 2:23 p.m.

Wow!

( | suggest removal )

HawgFan says... December 4, 2012 at 2:23 p.m.

Finally it's over.

( | suggest removal )

Dontcallmenames says... December 4, 2012 at 2:29 p.m.

He must have had to been our 5th or 6th choice. I'm just stunned about how mediocre this is.

( | suggest removal )

glennm446208120831 says... December 4, 2012 at 2:35 p.m.

He is a man!!!! He is 42!!!!!

( | suggest removal )

daw says... December 4, 2012 at 2:49 p.m.

Les Miles...no....Bielema, YES. BB won't have that plow horse offense capability here in the SEC. Bucky Badger looked tough Saturday against Nebraska, but how did they figure out how to lose those five games? Zero recruting mojo in the South as well.

( | suggest removal )

WildHog says... December 4, 2012 at 2:52 p.m.

Good hire. Solid record. A winner. I wasnt expecting him, but I like him. Kudos to Long.

( | suggest removal )

TigerInArk says... December 4, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.

Who would've guessed Bielema? He did well at Wisconsin. It'll be interesting to see how he does at Arkansas. He could hire Petrino as the O.C.

( | suggest removal )

myculls says... December 4, 2012 at 2:54 p.m.

Brado... excuse me? You think 3 Big Ten titles in a row & 3 Rose Bowl trips in a row is mediocre?? Wow, by whose standards? Surely not ours! I'm thinking this is VERY, very good! Go Hogs!

( | suggest removal )

rkb555 says... December 4, 2012 at 3:01 p.m.

Hate it....I think this is an awful decision.

( | suggest removal )

tncbg says... December 4, 2012 at 3:16 p.m.

Good hire! Despite what some of our delusional fans might think, Arkansas is not the most attractive job in college football. This guy believes in defense and has been successful at WI. Give him at least three years to recover from the lost season and we will be competitive. I hope he gets a long term, lucrative contract that will give him time to build. Glad it's over!!

( | suggest removal )

Click here to make a comment

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

TOP JOBS

  • Network tech

    Network Technician I Full-time position with the Central Ark...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

  • Materials handler

    USA Images, LLC, a leader in specialty print and mailing se...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

  • Systems admin.

    University of Arkansas at Little RockSystems Administrator T...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

  • Police officer

    police officer - Hamburg, Police Department is seeking certi...
    Hamburg, AR

  • Hearing test

    arkansas based company looking to hire a couple or individua...
    GARFIELD, AR

Search 912 jobs >

Top Picks - Mobile App
Arkansas Online