MADISON, WI (WSAU) - Badger Football Coach Brett Bielema will not coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl. That’s according to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report Tuesday evening. That report claims Athletic Director Barry Alvarez was surprised that Bielema took the Arkansas offer and that he has already begun the process of finding a new head coach.
Alvarez issued a statement Tuesday night, saying “He did a great job for us during his seven years as head coach, both on the field and off. I want to thank him for his work and wish him the best at Arkansas.”
The same Journal-Sentinel report claims Bielema will get a hefty pay raise when he goes to Arkansas. He’s scheduled to make 2.5 million at UW this season. Arkansas will be more than 4 million a year.
Bielema met Monday evening with Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long, and accepted his offer Tuesday.
Defensive Line Coach Charlie Partridge is one person that could replace Bielema on the sidelines at the Rose Bowl and beyond.
Former Badgers assistant Paul Chryst at Pitt knows his name has been brought up as a possible successor, but he issued a statement Tuesday saying, “I understand the speculation surrounding my name given today’s developments. I am committed to the Pitt football program and the University of Pittsburgh. I am focusing all my time and energy on our team’s bowl game preparation and recruiting a great group of young men to join our program and this outstanding university. We are working hard every day to re-establish this program and I am excited about the future of Pitt football.” Chryst's statement makes it clear he's busy now, but doesn't entirely rule out a return to Madison.