FAYETTEVILLE – In a joint press conference, Razorback head coach Bret Bielema and athletic director Jeff Long announced that they will both leave the university for new positions.
Bielema said that after lengthy meetings with the University of Nebraska this week the two have reached an agreement for Bielema to become the next head coach of the Cornhuskers. Bielema is expected to be introduced as the coach at a press conference in Lincoln on Friday.
“I love what we have built in these two years at Arkansas, I am really proud of the way this team has come together to achieve something great,” Bielema says, tearing up. “However my heart is in the Big Ten. While I love the payers, many of my peer coaches have been very mean to me. I am ready to return to the land where an ugly fella can marry a smokin’ hot wife and it seem perfectly normal. That place is Nebraska.”
A number of Razorback players, including the entire running back and offensive line groups, tweeted following the announcement that they intend to transfer to Nebraska to continue their college career with Bielema.
In addition to Bielema’s departure, athletic director Jeff Long said that he will accept the South Eastern Conference commissioner position following the conclusion of the football season. Former Athletic Director Frank Broyles, who turns 90 this month, has agreed to resume his role as athletic director while the school conducts a lengthy search for a replacement.
“My intention was to hold this announcement until after the national championship game, but I have accepted the position to replace Mike Slive as the next SEC commissioner,” Long says. “The conference approached me in August, but we agreed to finish my role as the football selection committee chairperson. Mr. Broyles will begin taking over duties from me effective immediately, beginning with the search for the next head coach.”
Broyles said that he has a very short list of candidates that he will begin interviewing next week. The candidates include former coach Houston Nutt, Pulaski Academy coach Kevin Kelly, and Broyles himself, who coached the only national championship team in Arkansas history.
In related news, Arkansas State has refused an invitation to the GoDaddy.com bowl this year so that they can retain coach Blake Anderson for another season.