Bret Bielema is taking his brand of power football to Arkansas, leaving Wisconsin after seven seasons.
Arkansas released a statement Tuesday night saying Bielema has agreed to a deal to take over the program reeling following the firing of former coach Bobby Petrino.
A person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information hasn’t been released publicly, said the deal is for six years and $3.2 million annually.
Bielema, Barry Alvarez’s hand-picked successor at Wisconsin, was 68-24 with the Badgers, with four double-digit win seasons. He coached Wisconsin to a 17-14 victory over Arkansas in his first season at the Capital One Bowl.
“His tough, aggressive style of play has been successful and will be appealing to student-athletes and Razorback fans,” Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement. “He not only shares the vision and values for the future of Arkansas football, he embraces them.”
Bielema is leaving the Big Ten for the SEC and a Razorbacks program that opened the year with hopes of challenging for a national championship only to get mired in the Petrino scandal before stumbling to a 4-8 finish.
The move was the second stunning hire this year at Arkansas, which brought in John L. Smith as the interim coach after firing Petrino for hiring his mistress to work in the athletic department.
Long announced after the season that Smith wouldn’t return.
Bielema seems likely to bring a far different approach than what the Razorbacks have become accustomed to. Arkansas continually ranked among the Southeastern Conference’s best passing teams under Petrino, while Bielema is known for his dominant offensive lines and slew of running backs.
BC hires Addazio
When Brad Bates arrived at Boston College as the new athletic director, he had in his mind a list of football coaches he might someday want to hire.
Two months after arriving in Chestnut Hill and nine days after firing Frank Spaziani following a 2-10 season, Bates hired Steve Addazio away from Temple.
A Connecticut native who also worked at Notre Dame and Florida, Addazio went 13-11 in two seasons since taking over for Al Golden.
Auburn picks Malzahn
Auburn has turned to Gus Malzahn to restore a program that made an unprecedented fall two years after winning a national title with Cam Newton operating his high-powered offense to perfection.
Malzahn was the Tigers’ offensive coordinator during their 2010 national championship run before heading to Arkansas State for his first college head coaching position. He led the Red Wolves to a 9-3 record and a berth in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder has been voted the AP Big 12 coach of the year after leading the Wildcats to the third conference championship in school history and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl.
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