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Arkansas hires Bielema away from Wisconsin

Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:16 PM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- University of Wisconsin head football Coach Bret Bielema has been hired to lead Arkansas in the same capacity, school officials said Tuesday.

Bielema's surprise move came only three days after he led the Badgers into their third straight Rose Bowl with a 70-31 shellacking of Nebraska in the Big Ten championship game.

"Coach Bielema has led his team to a historic run of championships while seeing a record number of student-athletes recognized for academic achievement," Arkansas Athletics Director Jeff Long said.

"His tough, aggressive style of play has been successful and will be appealing to student-athletes and Razorback fans."

Bielema, 42, racked up a 68-24 record in seven seasons at Wisconsin, compiling an 8-5 mark this year.

He replaces John L. Smith, who was let go in the wake of a 4-8 season after taking over in April for the fired Bobby Petrino.

It remained unclear if Bielema would be on the sidelines during the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, in which Wisconsin will take on Pac-12 champion Stanford.

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