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    Bielema ready for rugged SEC at Arkansas

    8:36 AM, Dec 7, 2012   |    comments
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    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long first met Bret Bielema while in Miami attending an end-of-season awards ceremony surrounding the 2005 national championship game.

    Bielema was an up-and-coming assistant coach at Wisconsin, and Long was the athletic director at Pittsburgh, still a few years away from leaving to take over the Razorbacks program.

    Little did Long know that he would one day hire Bielema to coach Arkansas, helping end what had been a spiraling eight months for the Razorbacks following the scandal-ridden exit of Bobby Petrino.

    The end of a secretive search came to an end Tuesday when the former Wisconsin coach agreed to take over the Razorbacks. The 43-year-old was introduced at a news conference the next day, giving Arkansas hope it can return to the upper echelon of the Southeastern Conference.

    (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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