FAYETTEVILLE — Former Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema is reportedly representing the New England Patriots in a scouting role this month, Whole Hog Sports reports.
Bielema represented the Patriots last week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, according to Boston-based TV network NESN, and was seen entering Alabama's pro day Wednesday with New England coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots have made no official announcements regarding Bielema, who was fired by Arkansas on Nov. 24, 2017, after the Razorbacks finished 4-8 and 1-7 in SEC games.
Bielema's five seasons in Fayetteville yielded a 29-34 overall record and 11-29 record in SEC games. He previously was 68-24 in seven seasons at Wisconsin, where he won three Big Ten championships.
Bielema's focus on developing offensive and defensive linemen has made him one of college football's more successful coaches in producing NFL players over the past decade. Since 2014, New England alone has drafted four players — James White, Trey Flowers, A.J. Derby and Deatrich Wise Jr. — who played for Bielema at Wisconsin or Arkansas. Former Arkansas players Cody Hollister and Brooks Ellis have also been on the Patriots' practice squad in the past two years.
The 48-year-old Bielema has long been considered a candidate to work in the NFL. In 2015, ESPN reported that he had interviewed for the Miami Dolphins' head coaching job in 2012.