FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - He wore the hat, accepted the offer, and called the hogs ... So that makes Bret Bielema the official new head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Bielema told hog fans how excited and proud he is to take on the role as Head Hog. Prior to Bielema taking the podium, University of Arkansas Athletics Director Jeff Long talked about the long process that occurred in finding a head coach. Long said the characteristics that he and others looked for included discipline, accountability, and the ability to lead students and coaches with integrity and class. He is confident that Bielema embodies these traits.
Upon taking the stage, Bielema briefly sported a Razorbacks hat to match his red necktie. The hat didn't stay on long, but Bielema made it clear that he is happy to be a hog.
"It's truly exciting for me to get to know the fan base here in Arkansas," Bielema said, reminiscing on the enthusiasm he saw during his 2007 Capitol One Bowl Game with the Wisconsin Badgers against the Razorbacks.
Arkansas isn't completely foreign to Bielema; he revealed that he had family in Little Rock while growing up. He's also familiar with the hogs, after growing up on a hog farm in Illinois.
Bielema became emotional while talking about his wife, Jen, whom he married in March of this year. He credited her with being his support system. She joined him on stage for the couple to "Call the Hogs" for the first time.
During the Q&A portion of the presser, Bielema said he won't coach the Wisconsin Rose Bowl game this season. He's already thinking about Offensive Coordinators, saying that he has a list of six possible assistants.
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In addition to Bielema's coaching achievements, he has been involved in many community events over the years. These involve Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Susan G. Komen. He stressed toward the end of the press conference the importance of being involved in the community and said he will urge his players to make that a priority.
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