Long Makes Right Choice for Hogs

The long and perilous coaching search is finally over: Bret Bielema is the new head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

That’s right, after all the searching and names thrown around, Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long hires a guy who happened to be on nobody’s radar as a potential hire, simply because he was successful at Wisconsin.

Long officially announced the hire around 6:15 this evening, and according to the AP, Bielema’s contract is for six years, earning him approximately $3.2 million annually.

“Bret Bielema is an exceptional leader of young men and an outstanding football coach who has proven his program is centered on establishing an unshakable foundation that emphasizes the development of each student-athlete as an individual,” Long said in a statement released by the University Of Arkansas.

How often does a coach win three consecutive conference championships and leave his school?

Rose Bowls are always nice to play in, and Bielema’s team has been to the past two, while earning another trip this season. The last coach to leave a team before his team played in a BCS bowl was Brian Kelly, leaving Cincinnati for Notre Dame. We now know how that worked out.

Bielema brings the ‘Old Man Style’ of football that has been proven successful in the SEC. Nick Saban and Les Miles have made their living off of great defense and running the football, the same physics Bielema emphasized while at Wisconsin.

Mike Gundy, Chris Petersen and Gary Patterson would have all been great candidates, but none of them embody the mentality that Bielema’s Wisconsin teams had.

“I think it’s a great hire for us,” said senior student Trevor Harp. “He coaches the kind of football that wins national championships.”

The student body as a whole, although shocked that Bielema was even an option, seems excited about bringing in a coach with a winning pedigree. Even though he hasn’t recruited the South much  – in his last two classes, Wisconsin only had three Southern players, all from Florida –  change of environment could definitely change that quickly.

With Bielema as coach, it most certainly looks like Jeff Long got the home run hire he was looking for.

Check back in for more from Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema tomorrow, as he is officially introduced.

Sounds nice doesn’t it?

Cameron McCauley is a senior News/Editorial student at the University of Arkansas and a sports reporter for the Arkansas Traveler.

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