Based on Bret Bielema’s new deal, he will remain the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks’ football program through 2020. This two-year extension now makes his contract a six-year deal. In addition, Bielema will be welcomed into the $4 million club. Currently, there are now eight head coaches in the SEC with an average annual salary of $4 million or greater. His total gross pay will end up bringing him $4.25 million per year.
Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director Jeff Long said,
“Coach Bret Bielema is not only one of the best college football coaches in the nation, he is an outstanding leader. What Coach Bielema and his coaching staff have done for our young men, on and off the field, is something that has dramatically changed the course of our program and most importantly positively impacted the lives of our football student-athletes. He is building a championship program in a way that all Arkansans can be proud of. We look forward to his continued leadership of our football program and the many successes yet to come.”
Thanks to coach Bielema’s tutelage, the Razorbacks had the most improved defense in the SEC in 2014. The Hogs held their opponents to just 19.2 points per game this past season which is a gigantic turnaround from the 32.3 points per game that were given up in the 2013 campaign. During the most important part of the season, Bielema had his squad playing at the highest level.
After some extremely tough losses, including a 14-13 loss to Alabama in Fayetteville, the Hogs put a stamp on their season down the stretch. If you did not know, the Razorbacks were the only unranked team in college football history to ever shutout ranked teams in back-to-back fashion — this past season, Arkansas put those goose eggs on No. 20 LSU and No. 8 Ole Miss.
Their offense was extremely effective down the stretch as well. Behind the monster Hogs up front, Arkansas was able to run the football down the throats of their opponents with the one-two combination of Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins at running back. With their outstanding running attack, the play-action passing game opened up for quarterback Brandon Allen.
In their final game against the Texas Longhorns in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl, the Razorbacks certainly were tremendous on both sides of the football. Their defense seemed to stifle the Texas offense on virtually every down. Offensively, the running game of Williams and Collins gave way to the play-action pass for Allen. The Hogs throttled the Horns 31-7 in the Texas Bowl, and finished their season with a winning record at 7-6.
Congrats coach Bielema on the new riches of your contract extension. Look out folks, because playing the Razorbacks will not be a picnic for anyone during the 2015 college football season.
*Section Photo credit to Wesley Hitt, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Crystal LoGiudice, USA Today Sports.