Illinois hires Bret Bielema as next football head coach

Bret Bielema is returning to the Big Ten … and the Midwest. Bielema was announced as the 26th football head coach in Illinois history Saturday.

Bielema takes over a program previously run by Lovie Smith, who was fired Sunday after five seasons with the team. Bielema was rumored to be among the many coaches Illinois would consider for the position.

Bielema comes to Illinois with plenty of experience. He has 24 total years of college coaching under his belt, including 12 seasons as a head coach. From 2006 to 2012, Bielema led Wisconsin to a 68-24 record. The team played in six bowl games under Bielema. From there, Bielema joined Arkansas, where the team made three bowl appearances in five seasons.

In 2018, Bielema joined the New England Patriots as a consultant. The following season, he became the team’s defensive line coach. Bielema left the Patriots after two seasons to become the outside linebackers coach and senior assistant for the New York Giants.

While the Giants are still playing games, Bielema will begin his role with Illinois immediately. He’s expected to attend Illinois’ game against Penn State on Saturday.

This story will be updated.

Published: 2020-12-19 14:28:41

Tags: #Illinois #hires #Bret #Bielema #football #coach

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