Bret Bielema Leaving Wisconsin For Arkansas - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Bret Bielema Leaving Wisconsin For Arkansas

Bret Bielema (file photo) Bret Bielema (file photo)
Wisconsin senior running back Montee Ball Wisconsin senior running back Montee Ball
Wisconsin junior offensive lineman Travis Frederick Wisconsin junior offensive lineman Travis Frederick
Wisconsin freshman quarterback Joel Stave Wisconsin freshman quarterback Joel Stave

Madison (WQOW) -- Wisconsin players say they're surprised by Bret Bielema's departure, but the Badgers need to focus on getting ready for a Rose Bowl.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez issues a statement Tuesday night, in which he says he was surprised Bielema was taking the offer from Arkansas.  Alvarez says he's already started the process of finding a new coach. 

For the complete statement by Alvarez, click on the link under "More Information."

Players meet with Bielema Tuesday evening, and afterward most say they don't have a problem with the coach leaving the UW program for a better offer.  Players also say they have a job, and that's to get ready for another game on January 1.

Senior running back Montee Ball says, "As the leader I'm going to make sure we all stay focused and go out there to Pasadena and win."

"I think that we just continue to be a team," says junior offensive lineman Travis Frederick, "and follow the mottos that we've learned by and continue to practice hard and I think we'll do a good job out there."

About the Rose Bowl, freshman quarterback Joel Stave says, "We're still going to play in it so, and just continue to prepare like we always would and hopefully go out and give ourselves a good chance to win."


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema has agreed to become the new coach at Arkansas.

Bielema will sign a multi-year contract soon, according to the person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the school had not yet made an official announcement.

The move was the second stunning hire at Arkansas, which brought in John L. Smith after firing Bobby Petrino earlier this year after a scandal in which Petrino hired his mistress to work in the football department.

Arkansas was 21-5 the last two seasons, but went 4-8 this season under Smith. Athletic director Jeff Long announced after the season that Smith would not return.

Bielema was 68-24 in seven seasons at Wisconsin, including an 8-5 mark this season.


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Person familiar with situation tells AP: Wisconsin's Bielema agrees to become Arkansas coach.

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