Athletic Board chair says coach hiring process will be thorough - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Athletic Board chair says coach hiring process will be thorough


MADISON (WKOW) -- UW Athletic Board chairman Dale Bjorling tells 27 News board members will be involved in the hiring process for a replacement for departed Badgers head football coach Bret Bielema.

Bjorling also acknowledged flaws with the process leading to Bielema's hire as head coach in 2005. Bielema was selected without a university-required posting of the position for a certain length of time. Also, the athletic board chair at the time said he received one hour notice of Bielema's selection from Athletic Director Barry Alvarez before the selection was presented to board members. Bielema had served two years as defensive coordinator on Alvarez's coaching staff, and Alvarez tabbed him as his successor.

Bjorling tells 27 News the search and screen phase of the hiring process will be handled largely by Alvarez and UW Athletic officials, but Bjorling expects select board members to review finalist credentials and possibly participate in interviews.

Bielema's salary from several sources at UW topped $2.5 million annually, and his letter of agreement with the University of Arkansas provides as much as $3.9 million annually if incentive goals are reached. But Bjorling tells 27 News he expected UW officials to resist making a hire with a salary in the upper tier of the current salary structure for Division One head coaches at elite football programs. 

Bjorling tells 27 News the focus of assembling a pool of candidates will be on candidates who are current head coaches, or have head coaching experience, due to the advanced state of UW's football program, and the expectations of the university and the team's fan base.

Early Wednesday, Bjorling predicted Alvarez would decline the chance to temporarily coach the football team in the Badgers' upcoming Rose Bowl appearance.

"I'm not sure Barry necessarily sees that in his best interest, or the team's," Bjorling told 27 News.

Later Wednesday, during a Fayetteville news conference formally introducing Bielema as Arkansas' next football coach, Bielema said he had heard Alvarez would coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl. Alvarez has three previous Rose Bowl victories as a coach. Alvarez will hold a Thursday news conference to address the interim coaching situation.


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