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UPDATE: Alvarez to Be Paid $118,500 to Coach Rose Bowl

UPDATED Tuesday, December 11, 2012 --- 11:54 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Barry Alvarez will earn $118,500 for returning to the sidelines to coach Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

And if Wisconsin wins the New Year's Day game against Stanford, Alvarez will get a $50,000 bonus.

The executive committee of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on Tuesday agreed to the terms following the surprise departure last week of head football coach Bret Bielema to coach at the University of Arkansas.

Alvarez currently works as UW's athletic director but was head coach from 1990 through 2005, a time when he won three Rose Bowl titles.

Money to pay for Alvarez's return to coach the game on New Year's Day comes out of Bielema's $1 million contract buy-out to be paid by Arkansas.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, December 11, 2012 --- 11:32 a.m.

The following is a joint news release from the University of Wisconsin System and the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

MADISON, Wis. – University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletic Director Barry Alvarez will receive additional compensation of $118,500 for taking on Rose Bowl coaching responsibilities, under a plan approved by the Executive Committee of the UW System Board of Regents today.

The funds will come from former coach Bret Bielema’s $1-million contract buy-out, to be paid to UW-Madison by the University of Arkansas.

As head football coach from 1990 through 2005, Alvarez rebuilt Wisconsin football tradition and led the Badgers to Rose Bowl titles in 1994, 1999 and 2000.

After Bielema’s unexpected departure to take the Arkansas head coaching job last week, Badgers team captains asked Alvarez to coach the Badgers against Stanford on New Year’s Day and he agreed.

For the month of December, Alvarez will receive 90 percent of Bielema’s monthly football coaching salary ($195,000) plus 10 percent of his current athletic director salary ($8,500), for a total of $203,500, which represents a one-time $118,500 increase in his monthly salary.

If the Badgers win the Rose Bowl under Alvarez’s leadership, he would also be eligible for a $50,000 bonus, under the UW-Madison Athletic Board’s existing post-season bonus policy. That bonus amount would be identical to what Bielema would have received for winning the bowl game.

“We weighed the factors involved, including the unique circumstances that developed less than a month before the game, the challenges of the job, the marketplace and his strength as a coach and concluded that this is a reasonable arrangement,” said Brent Smith, President of the UW System Board of Regents.
Interim Chancellor David Ward agreed.

“Coach Alvarez has a one-of-a-kind skill set that the university needs to be successful – both in the Rose Bowl and in attracting the best coaching candidates in the search for someone to lead the Badgers’ football program going forward,” Ward said. “We believe that this package is fair and proportional.”

University officials also acknowledged the work of Sean Frazier, deputy athletic director, in taking on additional responsibilities during this period.

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UPDATED: Thursday, December 6, 2012 --- 12:10 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Cross Pitt coach and former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst off the list of candidates for the Badgers job.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez says Chryst is "going to stay at Pitt." Alvarez says he helped Chryst get the job at Pitt last year, and doesn't think it would be appropriate to hire him away after such a short time.

Chryst is from Madison and remains a popular figure at Wisconsin, and was considered the favorite to replace Bret Bielema.

Chryst released a statement Tuesday night saying he was committed to Pitt, and Alvarez says it wouldn't be right for him to leave after just one year. The Panthers are 6-6 and will play Mississippi in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press

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UPDATED: Thursday, December 6, 2012 --- 10:10 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Barry Alvarez is headed back to the Wisconsin sidelines. For one game, at least.

Alvarez says he'll coach the Badgers in next month's Rose Bowl, where they'll play No. 8 Stanford. Alvarez made the announcement Thursday, a day after former coach Bret Bielema took the job at Arkansas.

Alvarez coached Wisconsin for 16 seasons, compiling a 118-73-4 record that included a 3-0 mark in the Rose Bowl -- the Badgers' only victories in eight trips to Pasadena. Alvarez added the title of athletic director in 2004, and resigned as head coach after the 2005 season. Bielema was his hand-picked successor.

After a rocky regular season, the Badgers beat Nebraska in last weekend's Big Ten championship. This will be their third straight trip to the Rose Bowl, a school record.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, December 5, 2012 --- 6:21 p.m.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas has introduced Bret Bielema as its head coach, bringing to an end a nearly eight-month search for Bobby Petrino's long-term replacement.

Bielema leaves Wisconsin after compiling a 68-24 in seven seasons, including last week's win over Nebraska in the Big Ten championship game that clinched the school's third straight Rose Bowl berth. The 42-year-old says he won't coach the Badgers in their upcoming bowl game.
UPDATED Wednesday, December 5, 2012 --- 2:21 p.m.

The Illinois native takes over a Razorbacks program hit hard by the Petrino scandal. Petrino was fired for hiring his mistress, the team stumbled to a 4-8 finish under interim coach John L. Smith and missed a bowl game for the first time since 2007.

Bielema will receive $3.2 million annually for six seasons.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, December 5, 2012 --- 2:21 p.m.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Bret Bielema will earn $3.2 million annually for six years in his new job at Arkansas, which will also pay its new coach's $1 million buyout to Wisconsin.

Arkansas on Wednesday released its signed letter of agreement with Bielema, which includes another $700,000 in annual incentives.

The Razorbacks hired Bielema on Tuesday, tabbing the former Badgers coach to take over a program that went into a tailspin after former coach Bobby Petrino was fired for hiring his mistress to work in the athletic department.

It was not immediately known whether Bielema would coach in the Rose Bowl for the Badgers

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THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

In its second stunning hiring this year, Arkansas tabbed Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema to take over a program that went into a tailspin after former coach Bobby Petrino was fired for hiring his mistress to work in the athletic department.

The Razorbacks released a statement Tuesday night saying Bielema will leave the Badgers after seven seasons. The announcement came minutes after he met with players at Wisconsin, and he'll be introduced at an afternoon news conference in Fayetteville on Wednesday.

"His tough, aggressive style of play has been successful and will be appealing to student-athletes and Razorback fans," Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement. "He not only shares the vision and values for the future of Arkansas football, he embraces them."

A person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information hasn't been released publicly, says the deal is for six years and $3.2 million annually.

Bielema replaces interim coach John L. Smith, who was hired after Petrino was fired. Long announced after the season that Smith wouldn't return.

Barry Alvarez's hand-picked successor at Wisconsin, Bielema was 68-24 with the Badgers, with four double-digit-win seasons. He coached Wisconsin to a 17-14 victory over Arkansas at the Capital One Bowl in his first season.

He is leaving the Big Ten for the SEC and a Razorbacks program that opened the year with hopes of challenging for a national championship only to get mired in the Petrino scandal before stumbling to a 4-8 finish.

Bielema seems likely to bring a far different approach than what the Razorbacks have become accustomed to. Arkansas continually ranked among the Southeastern Conference's best passing teams under Petrino. Bielema, meanwhile, is known for his dominant offensive lines and slew of running backs.

"During my conversation with Jeff (Long), he described the characteristics for the perfect fit to lead this program," Bielema said in a statement. "It was evident we share the same mission, principles and goals."

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball tied Barry Sanders' long-standing single-season record of 39 touchdowns last year, and this year became the FBS career leader in touchdowns. He currently has 82 touchdowns after running for three Saturday night in the Big Ten title game against Nebraska -- a 70-31 romp that secured the Badgers third straight trip to the Rose Bowl, where they will play Stanford on Jan. 1.

The 42-year-old Bielema was the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin for two years before being promoted to head coach in 2006. He played for Iowa and started his coaching career there as an assistant under Hayden Fry and later Kirk Ferentz.

"I was very surprised when Bret told me he was taking the offer from Arkansas," said Alvarez, now Wisconsin's athletic director. "He did a great job for us during his seven years as head coach, both on the field and off. I want to thank him for his work and wish him the best at Arkansas."

The Illinois native takes over a program still reeling following the Petrino scandal, one eager for stability and leadership.

"I'm excited about this decision," Arkansas cornerback Tevin Mitchel tweeted.

The Razorbacks improved their win total in four straight seasons under Petrino, including a 21-5 mark in 2010-11, and finished last season ranked No. 5. They had talked openly in the spring about competing for the school's first SEC championship and perhaps a national title.

Then came the April 1 motorcycle accident that led to Petrino's downfall. The married father of four initially lied about being alone during the wreck, later admitting to riding with his mistress -- a former Arkansas volleyball player he had hired to work in the athletic department.

Smith, who had been an assistant the last three seasons at Arkansas under Petrino, was chosen by Long to guide a team that returned first-team All-SEC quarterback Tyler Wilson and a host of other key playmakers. The decision was lauded by the Razorbacks, who welcomed the personable Smith back with open arms.

The season hit the skids with a stunning overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 8, starting a four-game losing streak that dropped Arkansas out of the rankings. The Razorbacks finished with the school's lowest win total since 2005, missing a bowl game for the first time since 2008.

"It's very difficult for me to believe that is not a bowl-eligible team," LSU coach Les Miles said following the Tigers' win over the Razorbacks in the season finale. "Watching the talent there, (it's) very capable."

Arkansas struggled to find its identity in the SEC after leaving the former Southwest Conference in 1992, but it appeared to have finally found just that under Petrino, who was hired after leaving the Atlanta Falcons during the season in 2007.

The Razorbacks turned into an offensive powerhouse under Petrino, leading the league in scoring and total offense last season. After winning 10 games and reaching the school's first BCS bowl game in 2010, losing to Ohio State, Arkansas won 11 games in 2011, capped by a Cotton Bowl win over Kansas State.

Still, Arkansas has yet to win the SEC, losing in the conference championship game three times.

While the country watched closely to see how Arkansas would react following Petrino's dismissal, Smith made headlines of his own throughout the season. The former Michigan State and Louisville coach filed for bankruptcy during the season, revealing $40.7 million in debt he blamed on bad land deals.

He was under far more fire from Arkansas fans for the mounting losses and it will be up to Bielema to turn things around in the loaded SEC West, with Alabama, LSU and now Texas A&M.

Long said during the season that the new coach would be tasked with building on the recent success at the school, which is looking into expanding the 72,000-seat Razorback Stadium and is currently building an 80,000-square-foot football operations center.

"The infrastructure in place at Arkansas shows the commitment from the administration to accomplish our goals together and I am excited to begin to lead this group of student-athletes," Bielema said. "This program will represent the state of Arkansas in a way Razorback fans everywhere will be proud of."

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UPDATED Tuesday, December 4, 2012 --- 6:21 p.m.

UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez has released a statement on Head Coach Bret Bielema accepting position at Arkansas

MADISON, Wis. -- University of Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez issued the following statement Tuesday on the departure of Bret Bielema, who has been named head football coach at the University of Arkansas:

"I was very surprised when Bret told me he was taking the offer from Arkansas. He did a great job for us during his seven years as head coach, both on the field and off. I want to thank him for his work and wish him the best at Arkansas.

"I have a responsibility to our student-athletes, our football family and our fans, one that I take very seriously. It is my responsibility to ensure that the football program continues at a high level, and I have already started the process of trying to find a new head coach.

"Along with finding a new coach, my other main objective is to make sure that our student-athletes, specifically our seniors playing in their final game as Badgers, have a tremendous experience in the Rose Bowl. We will do everything within our power to make that happen."

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UPDATED Tuesday, December 4, 2012 --- 2:31 p.m.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema has agreed to become the new coach at Arkansas.

Bielema will sign a multi-year contract soon, according to the person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the school had not yet made an official announcement.

The move was the second stunning hire at Arkansas, which brought in John L. Smith after firing Bobby Petrino earlier this year after a scandal in which Petrino hired his mistress to work in the football department.

Arkansas was 21-5 the last two seasons, but went 4-8 this season under Smith. Athletic director Jeff Long announced after the season that Smith would not return.

Bielema was 68-24 in seven seasons at Wisconsin, including an 8-5 mark this season.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press

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Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2012 --- 2:21 p.m.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) --Person familiar with situation tells AP: Wisconsin's Bielema agrees to become Arkansas coach.
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Yahoo! Sports and ESPN also are reporting that Bret Bielema will become Arkansas' coach.

Be sure to stay with nbc15.com for the latest on this developing story. We'll also have reports tonight on NBC15 News at 4, 5 and 6.


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