September 20, 2014

Bielema Hired As Razorbacks Head Coach

ArkansasRazorbacks.com: Bret Bielema Named Head Football Coach

Bret Bielema, who led Wisconsin to three straight Rose Bowls by winning each of the last three Big Ten titles, was named the 32nd head football coach in Arkansas history Tuesday, it was announced by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.shipe.5 Justin Shipe

    good hire. Good defensive-minded coach that always has a big O-line and D-line. Hope he pans out.

  • uvahog

    I don’t want to pre-judge this thing too much, and I’ll give him his fair chance, but this just doesn’t feel right to me. I think he’s a good coach, but I’m concerned about recruiting. To beat an Alabama and LSU with his style of football he’s going to have to recruit his ass off. I’m concerned that this is going to cement our Fourth-in-the-SEC-West spot in the pecking order. I might be the first one to join Owasso on the JL is an idiot bandwagon if this heads south. And, Owasso, I’ll be the first to apologize to you for ridiculing you for your JL paranoia. I think if Long was wanting to make a hire that would excite the fan base, this was not it. But I’d like to hear what other folks think about this. I’m not a Gus-guy, but I think Auburn’s gotten the better deal here.

    • Defense Wins Championships

      Gus? Gus who?

    • Carolina Hog

      When has Gus ever shown any ability to sustain at a program. The guy makes Bobby Petrino look like a cornerstone with all of his hopping. Gus saw Auburn going down, jumped ship, and then goes back looking like the savior. I would take our hire over Auburn’s any day of the week. I would ask those who are unhappy “who would you hire?” that wins more games than this guy. As for style, they just hung 70 on Nebraska. I think that would be exciting.

      • uvahog

        I believe I said I’m not a Gus-guy. Also I have no problem with BB’s style of football. Just concerned that trying to out Alabama Alabama is going to be hard with the recruits we normally get.

        • Carolina Hog

          But you did say that you thought Gus was the better deal and I disagree with that. Gus has been really good at getting out of town while his stock is high, but in the end only time will tell. Between UT, Auburn, and Ark, think we got the coach with the best experience.

          • uvahog

            I believe coordinators hop jobs quite a bit. You can’t blame a guy for leaving Jonesboro after one year to head back to Auburn. I just think that Gus’s style of football, closer to Petrino’s than BB’s, is more likely to have taken us to wins over LSU and Bama than trying to beat them at their own game, but I really really hope that turns out to be wrong.

          • headhog

            Only Arkansas fires more coaches than Jerry Jones. No wonder we had to settle. Everyone else said a BIG NO THANKS!

          • Carolina Hog

            Head, Who would you have hired? It’s quite easy to sit on the side and bitch. Let’s here some solutions, but then that’s not really what you’re looking to do here, is it.

          • headhog

            I would have chosen Gus, Strong, Patterson, Peterson.
            You know as well as i do that BB was not anyones choice. He was never mentioned by ANYONE! And sorry I do not drink the kool-aid.
            Being honest is something most Hog Fans will not do. I am.

          • Carolina Hog

            Ok, I’ll bite. You mentioned the Kool-Aid drinkers up above, but if you think that Patterson or Petersen were coming to Fayetteville then you are one yourself. Strong doesn’t look like he’ll take the UT job which is listed by most as a better job than ours, so that leaves you with Gus and we can agree to disagree on that. You yourself talk about Hog fans thinking they can buy any one they want and then you list those coaches. Do you want to try again with a list of coaches you think we should
            have hired and lay off the Kool-aid this time. Are you this angry and disgruntled because we didn’t hire Gus? Calm down, buddy. You are going to blow a gasket over this.

          • headhog

            You are the one getting upset kool aid drinker. I am being honest. That is something that you kool-aid drinkers cannot be. When we say something that upsets you, you then try to spin it. Try again and keep the anger to yourself. It will be ok! We are not an SEC ELITE! Say it with me now, WE ARE NOT AN SEC ELITE! See, the truth does not hurt.
            Gus would have been my 3rd or 4th choice but I guess it does not matter as he went home. As far as Tenn goes, looks like it is Gundy’s to turn down, not Strong’s. Go have a round of kool-aid on me and stop getting so upset by my honesty. Try it sometimes, it feels good!

          • Carolina Hog

            What Kool-aid am I drinking? I’m the one who had to explain to you that your choice of coaches was unrealistic. What did you say that you think is upsetting to me? I follow all of this pretty closely from outside the state, so I have a pretty firm grasp on the pecking order of the SEC as do most people who post here so this ‘revelation’ you feel the need to shout about doesn’t really come as a surprise to anyone on this site. As for UT, Gundy has already turned them down and Louisville is working on a new contract for Strong. So I’ll ask again, what is your point and what are you so fired up about?

          • soupdhog

            head, I’m sure you’ll disagree with logic, but indulge us –
            Gus – 1 year as head coach at a Div I school, no major conference championships or BCS wins as head coach. Not a proven coach in a major conference.
            Peterson – strong coach in a weak conference. Able to pull off a few upsets but tends to lose gimmies that shuts Boise out of the championship game. Not a proven coach in a major conference.
            Patterson – strong coach in a weak conference. Average coach in major conference.
            Strong – moderate head coach that wins in the Little East. Not a proven coach in a major conference.
            Compared to what the Hogs got –
            3 major conference championships, multiple BCS appearances and wins. Balanced offense, 1st round NFL draft picks every year, and his wife is hot.
            Glad you weren’t part of the search committee. I’m sure Auburn would take you on the Gus Bus out of Arkansas.

          • headhog

            Explain to me? HA HA good one. Thanks for explaining things to me, you cleared it right up. I was not unrealistic in my choices. If 3.5 Million a year could not lure a better coach than what we got then we deserve to be mediocre. And as far as who UT hires, WHO CARES! Now I gotta go now. I have to go fire that employee of mine that is on here going by the handle Carolina Hog when he should be working. Remember, don’t get mad on these message boards when someone does not agree with you. Makes you look small.

          • uvahog

            Care for a mirror little boy?

          • Hawgfan100a

            Don’t be patronizing or condescending; makes you look smaller.

      • OwassoHog

        FYI – they were also 8-5 and were 3rd best in their division.

      • headhog

        That was more Nebraska than it was Wisconsin. They will get a beat down in the Rose Bowl.

    • headhog

      4th place spot in the SEC West? What are you smoking? Alabama, LSU, aTm, MSU, Ole Miss………….

      • uvahog

        um, reality? I’m talking about our perennial spot not this year’s standings: Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Arkansas, A&M, State, and OM

        • headhog

          Yeah right!

  • Dane

    Terribly disappointed in this hire. Not exactly what I envisioned about having an unlimited amount of financial stability to work with. Big 10 run left run right and pass on 3rd down isn’t exactly something I want to pay my money towards on Saturday’s in the fall. I will hope and pray for change odds are it will end up just about like our country has on those same words the last four years.

    • http://www.razorbloggers.net/ Walking on Sunshine

      Yeah, nobody really wants to go to and win BCS bowl games, and average almost 10 wins a year. It’s much better to entertain people who give the money. That winning stuff is overrated.

      • OwassoHog

        While I appreciate the past, it ain’t going to help the Hogs 1 bit unless they do it in the future… right now, I’m not seeing it happening in the next 3 years. I hang up now and see how you predict the next several seasons to see how you really feel! ;-)

      • headhog

        You mean LOSE BCS Bowl Games.

  • GolfHog

    Strange and interesting hire, certainly in keeping with our rep as the Lindsey Lohan of college football.

    Do you beat ‘Bama and LSU at their own game? Or do you go the way of A&M and Ole Miss? Jeff seems to think we can compete head to head. How about Texas connections for recruiting? Personally, I thought that that was job one. I guess Horton and Allen will have to make up for that.

    All we can do is wait and see now. I wish Bret the best of luck. Personally, I would have preferred a passing offense.

    • Roadhog

      H/t for “the Lindsay Lohan of college football.”

      Maybe he can recruit the midwest. I don’t care where the players come from as long as they get the job done. Even TX has not done too well with TX players lately. Can he keep the best AR players? His style and football philosophy suggest he can compete in the SEC IF. . .he can get the star athletes.

    • soupdhog

      If a passing offense wins, Arkansas would have multiple BCS championships the past 3 years. A strong running game and defense wins championships. Just ask LSU and Bama – their passing games are pedestrian at best.

      • headhog

        LMAO! Arkansas would have multiple BCS Titles! Have you not been watching the same team I have? We have not even won a BCS Bowl and we have only played in ONE! They make the kool-aid strong here in Arkansas.

        • soupdhog

          head, pay closer attention. golf suggested he would have preferred a hire with more of a passing offensive mentality as opposed to the smashmouth run first style of teams like Bama and LSU. My point was that if passing offenses win the SEC, Arkansas would have had multiple championships as the Hogs have led the SEC in passing the past 3 years.
          A passing offense doesn’t give you a championship in the SEC. A strong running game with a balanced passing attack is a better offensive strategy. The other key is a strong defense. Arkansas hasn’t had any of those things under Petrino or Smith.

    • headhog

      They all beat us.

  • Carolina Hog

    Really? Leave it to Arkansas fans to go negative in 5 minutes. Compare his time in Wisconsin to our last 7 years. This is a solid hire.

    • uvahog

      Oh, expressing some reservations is not “going negative.” I think my concern about going up against LSU and Bama with their own game plan is hard to do with the recruits Arkansas normally has access to is a valid concern. This is so out of the blue and strange that it is going to take a while for some of us to warm up to this. Andy Staples column as SI should make some of us with reservations feel a little better: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/andy_staples/12/04/bret-bielema-arkansas-wisconsin/index.html?sct=cf_t11_a0

    • headhog

      Keep telling yourself that. You might actually believe it soon. As for most Hog fans and myself we do not. Nobody I have talked to today is happy with this hire. The media is trying to spin it to make it look like a good hire but everyone knows it is not. 2 years from now we will be looking for another coach. Name one person you know that had this guy on their list. You can’t do it!

      • OwassoHog

        I’m not sure 2 years from now… but my gut tells me that if things don’t work out (for whatever reason) we shouldn’t label him as a bad coach.

  • Jeff E

    Great Hire, this guy knows football, he forgot more about football than Malzahn would ever know on his best day.

    • OwassoHog

      I’m not a huge Gus fan but given all that has taken place today… looks like we will find out fairly soon. I just hope in 5 years we don’t go… dang… we picked wrong! Cause, I’m guessing by then it will be too late.

  • Defense Wins Championships

    I don’t know anything about him personally but I do like his style of ball. Looks like a home run! No more sissy ball! Long, the CIA man, came through. Exciting to see how this all plays out. Looks like a good solid man from one article that I read from Wisconsin. Great record. I have confidence that he is the real deal. If you want a great defense, you must be able to run the ball when you need to. If he turns out to be a great recruiter, then all is well. Go Hogs!

    • OwassoHog

      Home Run… Really? I think that is stretching it just a bit. Don’t get me wrong… a good solid hire but not top notch that we all had hoped for… at least coming in. He certainly has potential but with this league that’s not going to be near enough. I was worried about 2 things: Mike Gundy… (not a big fan) and over paying for a good coach. Sounds like Jeff went deep down his list from the sounds of things… All in all a good solid B on this hire.

      • soupdhog

        Owasso, who would have been better than 3 major conference championships and multiple BCS bowls? I’ll hang up and listen.

        • OwassoHog

          That is sorta my point…we had ZERO options for big names but several good, solid coaches… a good, solid coach is far from a home run. Based upon past (i.e. record) he’s probably a the top of the good, solid coaches. Most were under the illusion that we’d get a TOP guy which is why there seems to be a ton of mixed feelings on this hire.

  • BadgerBackerForLife

    Good luck Hog fans! If you like a coach with no idea of how to use his timeouts, manage the game, or not have the balls to ‘go for it’ when it is necessary to….then you have your man. Thank God we had the caliber of athletes at Wisconsin (a stable full of Roadgraders and always a handful of dynamite running backs) to help with our success, but most here felt a change at the HC position was already long overdue. Congrats on the hire…..you just made Christmas in Wisconsin the best one yet!

    • Carolina Hog

      Badger, Get back with us when you go to three straight Rose Bowls again. Merry Christmas.

  • http://www.razorbloggers.net/ Walking on Sunshine

    This hire is all about style of play. Physical, power run game and defense. I think Long believed he needs to play that way to compete with Alabama and LSU year in and year out. That style has won the West 5 out of the last 6 years (Auburn 2010).

    I like the hire…no other school looking for a coach will secure one that has been to 3 BCS games in 8 years. And when you look at the available coaches, who are willing to move from their current gigs, it is about as good as you can imagine.

  • Roadhog

    The national press seem to think Jeff Long pulled off a major coup. I am certainly impressed with Bielema’s record, for what that’s worth. Of course, a HC must have the personality to relate to fans and media as well as to win games. I’ll just have to wait to begin to form an opinion about him as a person.

    To those for whom this hire does not “feel right”: maybe you were too focused on getting a guy with Arkansas ties. IMO an Arkansas guy would bring as many negatives as positives to the job. It troubles me that an informal poll of WI fans showed two-thirds of them were glad to see BB go. (After winning a 3rd-straight trip to the Rose Bowl! We’re easier to please in Arkansas.)

    For those who wanted to “BBB” well you nearly got your wish with BB: two out of three ain’t bad.

    It takes a lot more than a great HC to build a successful program. Lets hope that the fans and the admins and the nabobs can pull together again and build a championship team in Hogville. WPS! GHG! BB!

  • Hog Fans Are Crazy

    Wow, I can’t believe I am seeing that folks would prefer a coach with one year of Sun Belt head coaching experience over a guy that has won multiple conference championships in a major football conference, multiple BCS appearances (with wins) and wins about 10 games a year on average. You got to be kidding me. Is that the level of intellect we are dealing with on these boards?

    • Jeff E

      Don’t lump all of us in with the Gus Malzahn cult, a majority of us know this was a great hire. The cult is a sad, delusional, pathetic, little thing, we life long Hog fans have quit listening to anything the cult says yrs and yrs ago. The cult guaranteed a Gruden hire, guaranteed a Peterson hire also, don’t forget that. They guaranteed us Malzahn didn’t even want to leave Arkansas St, that he wouldn’t even take the Arkansas job if it was offered, remember? LOL.. That’s the funny part in all of this, he has stabbed them in the back 3 times now, all within like 5 yrs, and they still display excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to their leader. I’m now completely 100% convinced the cult is using mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about its leader.

    • Jeff E

      The good news though is the cult may have moved on finally. Arkansas Sports 360 closed up a few weeks ago, no doubt in anticipation of a move to the plains. And Hawgcountry, no one with a functioning brain would listen too anymore.

    • Defense Wins Championships

      There are some shallow posts on other sites but not as bad as I have seen on other boards. We are gonna go to another level in recruiting. It all comments with the lines.

  • headhog

    Mediocrity is where we have been and with this hire it is where we will stay!
    Not a good fit at all. I guess everyone else turned us down.

  • headhog

    What makes me laugh is that so many fellow Hog Fans think we ever mattered in the SEC and that we could get any Coach we wanted. All we had to do was throw some cash around and they would line up to interview. Well guess what? We are not an ELITE SEC team and never have been. We want to be and some think we are but those are the kool-aid drinkers and W. Hall serves it strong! Don’t believe me? SEC Titles 0. BCS Bowls 1. BCS Bowl wins 0. Most Hog fans were not even born yet the last time we won a Conf Title. We are in the same category as OM, MSU, VANDY, KENTUCKY, not up there with FLA, BAMA, LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Tenn. Program wise. And I am sick of hearing we have facilities and they are improving on them recently. EVERYONE has Facilities! Good grief people snap out of it! It is like someone sprinkled make believe football power pixie dust over the State of Arkansas. WOW!

  • tnarch

    I don’t know how many posts that I have read dogging the Big Ten and praising the SEC. Look at the Razorbacks’ record against the Big Ten…99 lost to Michigan, 2002 lost to Minn., 2007 lost to Wisc….I’m all in, this is a Great Hire…Go Hogs!!!

  • headhog

    Funny comment on the Radio today that was great and I think sums it up for most of us not happy with this hire. “When BB’s name was mentioned it was like when you take a drink of what you thought was Coke but spit it out because it was actually Orange Juice and you go, OH Wait, I like Orange Juice!”

  • Defense Wins Championships

    I am even more impressed with the hire after hearing Coach Bielema’s press conference. He has class and humor. His apparent lack of a misguided ego is impressive. His honesty comes through loud and clear. Country raising that he has not forgotten. He knows who he is and that is comforting. Definitely a home run that was hit out of the park! The fact that his players do so well academically is impressive; after all they are student athletes. The way he uses the run game is awesome. You have to have that to have a successful defense. His obvious ability to develop players is impressive. It is impressive that he has in his head assistants that he would go after. He observes. He is not impulsive.

  • soupdhog

    Seen a few posts critical of Wisconsin’s 8-5 record. Should probably take a closer look. 3 of their losses were in OT, and the other 2 were by 3 points each. Also, one of their losses was to Nebraska, and we all pretty much know what happened last week. Point is, they were a few plays away from an undefeated season. But more importantly, they were more competitive than Arkansas was this year. #13 in total defense, and #12 in rushing offense. The two biggest issues for Arkansas. Can’t wait to see what he can do with the talent the Hogs have coming back.

  • uwbadgers442

    Thank you for taking him off our hands! Don’t let the BCS run fool you! We should have won vs. TCU, gone undefeated last season, and had around 3 less losses this year.. All these losses are on Beliema! Enjoy him and enjoy mediocrity!