Fayetteville, Ark. – After months of speculation the wait is finally over for University of Arkansas football fans. University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long has hired University of Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema as the new head coach of the Razorbacks football team.
Bielema is expected to be officially announced on Wednesday in Fayetteville.
In seven seasons Bielema, 42-years-old, guided Wisconsin to a 68-24 overall record including a bowl record of 2-4. Four times Bielema posted 10-plus win seasons with the Badgers including a 12-win 2006 season capped by a 17-14 Capital One Bowl win over Arkansas.
The hire seemingly came out of left field as the top names being floated for the vacancy included Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, Vanderbilt’s James Franklin, and Boise State’s Chris Petersen among others but never included Bielema.
The Badgers have made three straight BCS Rose Bowl appearances as champions of the Big Ten Conference albeit their 2012 appearance comes slightly tainted. Ohio State and Penn State finished with better Big Ten Conference records in the Leaders Division but neither program was eligible for post season play making Wisconsin, by default, the representative in the Big Ten Championship Game. No matter how the Badgers got to the title game, once there Bielema won going away over Nebraska 70-31.
In 2012 Bielema coached Wisconsin running back Montee Ball to an all-time great NCAA career. Against the Cornhuskers in the Big Ten Championship Game Ball topped the 5,000-career rushing mark and broke the FBS record for most career touchdowns.
Bielema’s hire nationally is considered a great hire for the Razorbacks although many in SEC country know little about Bielema and his strong coaching background.
More to come from Razorbackers.com regarding Bret Bielema and the future of the Arkansas Razorback football program…