Bret Bielema, Arkansas Agree to New Contract: Latest Details and Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2015

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Arkansas has reached an agreement with head football coach Bret Bielema on an additional two-year contract extension to keep him with the program through 2020.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports passed along word of the deal and provided updated dollar figures:

Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB

#Arkansas has signed Bret Bielema to a two-year contract extension thru December 2020. AVG salary for the new 6yr deal: $4.25 million.

The school's official athletics site confirmed the extension and included comments from director of athletics Jeff Long about the decision:

Coach Bret Bielema is not only one of the best college football coaches in the nation, he is an outstanding leader. What Coach Bielema and his coaching staff have done for our young men, on and off the field, is something that has dramatically changed the course of our program and most importantly positively impacted the lives of our football student-athletes. He is building a championship program in a way that all Arkansans can be proud of. We look forward to his continued leadership of our football program and the many successes yet to come.

Bielema spent seven seasons at Wisconsin before leaving to join the SEC school. After going 68-24 with the Badgers, he posted a 3-9 record during his first season at Arkansas in 2013.

The Razorbacks showed signs of progress this past season, though. They went 7-6, including a blowout win over Texas in the Texas Bowl to cap off the season. They did it despite playing a very difficult schedule that featured eight games against ranked teams.

Arkansas clearly believed the program made enough positive strides to warrant adding onto Bielema's contract. In an era where the coaching carousel seemingly never stops spinning, these types of extensions are mostly a measure of good faith.

Bielema still has a lot of work to do in order to get the program into a position where it's consistently competitive in the deep, talented SEC. Arkansas made some movement in the right direction over his first two years.

It will be interesting to see if that trend continues next fall.

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