Bielema Takes Arkansas Football Post; Malzahn to Coach Auburn
After leading Wisconsin to the Big Ten title and the Rose Bowl, Bret Bielema has accepted the coaching job at Arkansas, director of athletics Jeff Long announced.
Meanwhile, Auburn has tabbed Gus Malzahn to replace Gene Chizik, who was fired in November after the Tigers finished with a 3-9 record, two years after winning the national title.
Long said Bielema will be introducted at a news conference Wednesday. Bielema will replace interim coach John L. Smith after finishing 4-8 this season.
"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.
"His tough, aggressive style of play has been successful and will be appealing to student-athletes and Razorback fans. He not only shares the vision and values for the future of Arkansas football, he embraces them," Long added.
The 42-year-old Bielema led Wisconsin to three consecutive Big Ten title and will play in its third consecutive Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 against Stanford. He will leave the Badgers with a career record of 68-24.
It is not yet known if Bielema will coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl.
Bielema's hiring came as a surprise as he was not included in the list of candidates for the position. Earlier, media outlets reported that Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy would be hired.
Malzan was the offensive coordinator during Auburn's 14-0 run to the national championship in 2010 during which the Tigers set multiple school offensive records and quarterback Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy.
Malzahn left Auburn in 2011 to become head coach at Arkansas State, where he directed the Red Wolves to the 2012 Sun Belt Conference championship and a berth in GoDaddy.com Bowl.
"It's an outstanding institution with a storied football program that I had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand for three years," said Malzahn, the university's 26th head football coach.
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