Bret Bielema Attracted To Razorbacks By Money Available To Assistant Coaches

by Chris Bahn  on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 9:45 am  

New University of Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema leads a Hog Call at his introductory press conference. He was joined on stage by his wife, Jen. (Photo by Ryan Miller)

Despite the Big Ten’s reputation as one of the most competitive and wealthy conferences in college football, the money for assistant coaches isn’t comparable to other leagues. And Bielema said he had no chance of fighting off the NFL from poaching staff members.

“I know I’m hiring the right guys because everybody keeps taking them from me," Bielema said during a news conference Wednesday in Fayetteville. "The NFL, they kind of upset me a little bit, because they’ve got silly money. They’ve got like Monopoly money.”

Bielema, who will consider hiring from the existing staff first, won’t have an unlimited budget on what he can spend. But Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long has said previously he was willing to invest more in the new coach’s staff.

Making sure the Razorback assistant coaches under Bielema could be well compensated was a topic of conversation during the initial meetings between the new coach and Long.

“He expressed early on that it was as much about his assistants, and being able to attract quality assistants and not lose assistants,” Long said. “I wouldn’t even call it a negotiation. We just talked about what was important, how we could reach both of our goals, and that’s first to win an SEC championship and then to win a national championship. We decided what we thought was the best way to go about it.

“That just says volumes about Bret and who he is as a person and a coach.”



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