Big news out of Madison. Badger football coach Bret Bielema is bound for the head coaching position at Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference. Bielema will ink a five-year contract for $3.2 annually. “He obviously is a hot commodity in the coaching ranks, and I assume money and the allure of the SEC is something that is really hard to pass up when the opportunity presents itself,” said Phil Dawson, sports director at WIBA in Madison.
According to various media outlets, Bielema, whos’s taking the Badgers to their third consecutive Rose Bowl, will be introduced as the Razorback’s head coach on Wednesday. “He has had a lot of success,” said Dawson. “He actually has the top winning percentage, even better than Barry here at Wisconsin, but has always been under the shadow of Barry Alvarez. He’s kept the program intact at a place where it is difficult to win.”
Bielema, an Illinois native who played college football at Iowa, is coming off a 2012 season which culminated in a 70-13 drubbing of Nebraska in the Big Ten title game. “After seeing what Bret Bielema has done here, and the pounding they put on Nebraska, you reach out,” said Dawson of Arkansas. “You have a war chest just full of money, and you say “this is what we’re offering you, this is what we need from you.” Arkansas also has tremendous facilities. It’s a program you can win at, if you can recruit and coach well.”
Bielema even has a little history with Arkansas. The Badgers beat the Razorbacks in the Capitol One Bowl on January 1, 2007, to put the capper on a 12-1 season and make Bielema the third coach in NCAA history to win 12 games in his rookie season. His overall record at Wisconsin is 68-24, but has yet to win a Rose Bowl. The Badgers will face Stanford on New Years Day in Bielema’s final game as head coach at UW.