Bret Bielema.... The name conjures up many emotions across Big Ten country and most of them aren't positive - even amongst those in the Wisconsin fanbase. No, it's not sour grapes either, as most will tell you he wasn't exactly a well-liked figure in the UW community. Interesting considering Bielema did something no coach outside of Michigan and Ohio State have ever done - lead their team to three or more straight Rose Bowl appearances.
However, there's a difference between admiring winning football teams and liking the coach. Nothing illustrates this more than what Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez told Dan Wolken of USA Today for a piece put together on Tuesday.
Here's exactly what Alvarez had to say:
"I've got to tell you," said athletics director and longtime Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez, who groomed Bielema to be his replacement, "and I'm not saying this negatively because Bret did a good job for us, but I haven't had one person say, 'Well, it's too bad Bret left' or 'We were sorry to see Bret leave' or 'Couldn't you have paid the assistants more money to keep him?' Not one."
Now, having been around the Badger program in one way, shape or form for parts of the last three years myself I can tell you Alvarez's sentiments are dead on. Personally, I have yet to hear anyone gripe about missing Bret Bielema at all.no comments