Bret Bielema will be announced as the next head football coach at the University of Arkansas.
Of all the names that have been thrown around to take the position since the Hogs’ season went south during the Week 2 game against Louisiana-Monroe, Bielema was not one of them. Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long did a phenomenal job of keeping his selection a secret until the announcement.
Bielema is the first coach in recent Arkansas history to originate from the defensive side of the football. Bielema served as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin before being promoted to head football coach. Bobby Petrino and Houston Nutt both served as offensive coordinators early in their coaching careers.
This is a change of pace for the Razorbacks and should bring about a more defensive brand of football. The Hogs struggled on defense this past season, and they definitely need to try something different if they are going to compete with defensive powerhouses like Alabama and LSU in the SEC West.
The main cause of concern for Hogs’ fans will be Bielema's ability to recruit in the SEC, particularly Arkansas’ ability to recruit in the state of Texas, which will become more difficult in the coming years now that Texas A&M has joined the SEC.
Bielema does not appear to have a lot of experience recruiting in the south and that could end up being a cause for concern for the program and for fans.
But hopes and concerns abound whenever a program hires a new head coach, and it is always possible that those hopes will be fulfilled and the concerns alleviated.
All Bret Bielema has to do to accomplish both is win.