Bielema goes to Arkansas, Malzahn returns to Auburn
December 4, 2012
Bret Bielema is moving from the Big Ten to the Southeastern Conference, and Gus Malzahn is returning to Auburn – this time to run the Tigers.
Boston College turned to Temple to fill its coaching vacancy, hiring Steve Addazio away from the Owls.
Bielema’s hiring by Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long was a stunner. Arkansas came in with high hopes, even after Bobby Petrio was fired amid scandal during the summer, but things fell apart quickly and the Razorbacks finished 4-8 under interim coach John L. Smith.
Bielema is in his seventh season as Barry Alvarez’s hand-picked successor at Wisconsin.
He’s 68-24 with the Badgers, with four double-digit win seasons, and he coached Wisconsin to a 17-14 win over Arkansas in his first season at the Capital One Bowl.
The 42-year-old Bielema was the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin for two years before being promoted to head coach in 2006. He played for Iowa and started his coaching career there as an assistant under Hayden Fry and later Kirk Ferentz.
Bielema will likely bring a far different approach than what the Razorbacks have become accustomed to. Arkansas continually ranked among the Southeastern Conference’s best passing teams under Petrino, while Bielema is known for his dominant offensive lines and slew of running backs.
Malzahn was the offensive coordinator at Auburn for three seasons under the coach the Tigers just fired, Gene Chizik.
With Malzahn running the offense, and Cam Newton playing quarterback, Auburn went 14-0 in 2010 and won a national title. Malzahn left to take the Arkansas State job after last season and Auburn finished 3-9 and 0-8 in the SEC without him.
He led the Red Wolves to a 9-3 record, a Sun Belt Conference title and a berth in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
“This is a homecoming for me and I look forward to being reunited with the Auburn family,” he said.
The 47-year-old Malzahn returns with his fast-paced, no-huddle offensive style.
Addazio, a Connecticut native, went 13-11 in two seasons with the Owls since taking over for Al Golden in Philadelphia.
Temple was 4-7 this season, it’s first back in the Big East after five in the Mid-American Conference.
In his first season with the Owls, Addazio went 9-4 and won the New Mexico Bowl. Before taking over at Temple, Addazio worked as an assistant for Urban Meyer at Florida.
BC athletic director Brad Bates called the 53-year-old Addazio a “proven winner.”
He replaces Frank Spaziani, who was fired after four seasons as head coach and 16 overall at BC. Spaziani went 22-29 with the Eagles.
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