Arkansas Football Head Coach, Bret Bielema, Fired

Matthew Campbell, Writer

On Friday, November 24th, the Arkansas Razorbacks took on the Missouri Tigers at Donald W. Reynolds stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks with a score of 48-45. Shortly after the game, it was announced that Arkansas’ head coach, Bret Bielema, was fired.


After 5 years as head coach, Bret Bielema was fired from his head coaching position after losing to the Missouri Tigers. This loss dropped the Razorbacks to 4-8 on the season and 1-7 in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).


“I’ve never been let go in my entire life, so this is a first for me, but I’ve had quite a few coaches that have moved on always kind of say, whether it’s right, wrong or indifferent, you want to leave the place better than when you got here, and I know that’s happened,” Bielema said at his postgame news conference.


Previous to the game versus Missouri, there were many rumors floating around the team that Bielema would end up being fired and some even believe he was fired before they played on Friday. After his firing was announced, Bielema told reporters that he got the news that he was fired as he was coming off the field Friday, but he later clarified that he was informed in the coach’s office in the Razorback Stadium.


Bret Bielema said, “Obviously, everybody’s probably like, ‘Woo, they got him right after that [loss],’ but I’d much rather have it this way than think about it.”


At Arkansas, Bielema recorded two seven-win seasons and one eight-win season, but never finished higher than third in the SEC West. His overall record with the team was 29-34. Before being hired at Arkansas in 2013, Bielema previously coached at Wisconsin after seven consecutive winning seasons but the connection he had with the Arkansas players was unlike any other.


“I did get a chance to say goodbye to at least 80 of those players that were in that locker room. A lot of emotion running through there, and I think that’s a great indication the imprint you’ve had on their lives,” Bielema said.


Bielema became the third SEC head football coach to be fired this season, which includes Tennessee’s Butch Jones and Florida’s Jim McElwain. Bielema left an impact, whether it’s positive or negative, on the fans and players of the Razorbacks and forever changed the Arkansas football program.