Barry Alvarez thinks his presence played role in Bielema's departure
Posted by: Josh Kendall on December 14, 2012
Bret Bielema may have left Wisconsin in part to get out of the shadow of legendary athletic director and former coach Barry Alvarez, Alvarez believes.
"I have been told that. Bret and I had a great relationship," Alvarez said Thursday when asked if that could be the case on the Tim Brando Show. "We talked every day. We had a tremendous relationship, yet I think there was some of that. I can't speak for Bret, but that's not the first time I have heard of that."
After Bielema left the Badgers to take the Arkansas job, Alvarez named himself head coach for the Rose Bowl game against Stanford. According to Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com, Alvarez may have targeted Oregon State head coach Mike Riley to be Bielema's full-time replacement, but he did not address that Wednesday with Brando.
Instead, he talked of his excitement about returning to the sideline ("I have a hard time sleeping," he said. "I get about three hours of sleep a night.") and how the business of coaching has changed since the last time he coached.
"The money is so big. Everyone has an agent," he said. "You've got agents that are testing the waters and researching jobs for their clients even if a coach is happy and satisfied where he is."
Alvarez asked all the team's current assistant coaches to remain with the team through Jan. 1 and will leave most of the game plan to them, he said.
"My biggest strength has always been motivating kids, knowing when to push, knowing when to back off, knowing what to say, having kids ready to play, especially in big games," he said. "Knowing what strings to pull, that's always been my strength."
Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org