|Updated: 12/06/2012 7:39 am
||Published: 12/05/2012 4:31 pm
FAYETTEVILLE, AR - Arkansas has introduced Bret Bielema as its head coach, bringing to an end a nearly eight-month search for Bobby Petrino's long-term replacement.
Bielema has a 6-year contract worth 3.2 million dollars a year.
Things move fast in college football. Bret Bielema was the head coach at Wisconsin Saturday night. On Sunday he had a message from Jeff Long. Today he was introduced as the new head coach and did something every new Razorback employee has to do when they start their tenure here – call the Hogs.
With that Bret Bielema is now the Head Hog. And he took full advantage to introduce himself to Arkansas.
“I can tell you from this day forward we will do nothing as players and coaches but try and give you every win you deserve. And we’ll take it one game at a time. I’m not going to promise anything. I will tell you I’m here because I want to give you something you’ve never had.”
That could mean an SEC championship and certainly hopes for a national title.
Athletic director Jeff Long reached out to Bielema over the weekend, but his respect for Bielema started much earlier.
“I got a letter from Bret in the fall. But that letter was about things that transpired last April. And he wrote me a note and shared with me how impressed he was with how we handled that, our leadership. I think I got the letter in September, I still have the letter. But that impacted me.”
The feeling is mutual. Long reached out, Bielema accepted. Now he’s expected to turn around a program reeling after coaching upheavals and a 4-8 season.
“In life, a lot of people, they never cheer for the favorite. They pull for the underdog. And right now, we might be that guy.”
Now Bret Bielema is that guy. He says he wants to make sure he keeps recruits in Arkansas.