Bret Bielema | Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Joe Judge’s coaching staff stays intact
After flirtations with a couple of college head-coaching jobs, it looks like Bret Bielema will be remaining with the New York Giants. Bielema, the Giants’ inside linebackers coach and senior defensive assistant, was a finalist to become head coach at the University of Colorado. The school has instead reportedly chosen Miami Dolphins wide receivers WRs coach and assistant head coach Karl Dorrell.
Bielema has been a candidate for the jobs at both Colorado and Michigan State since he joined Joe Judge’s Giants’ staff on Feb. 5.
According to a variety of reports, the 50-year-old Bielema has been pining to return to the college game. He was head coach at Wisconsin from 2006-2012, compiling a 68-24 record and earning Big 10 Coach of the Year honors in 2006. Wisconsin was the Big 10 champion in each of his final three seasons there.
Bielema was head coach at Arkansas from 2013-2017, but did not experience the same level of success, compiling a 29-34 record. His overall college coaching record is 97-58.
Bielema worked with the New England Patriots the past two seasons before joining Joe Judge’s coaching staff.
Here is what Judge said when Bielema’s hiring by the Giants was announced:
“There’s a lot of things (to like) about Bret,” Judge said. “I think Bret brings a great personality to the group, brings a great perspective on how he sees the game, he’s coached the front for some time, he’s coordinated defenses at a high level. Players respond to Bret in a positive way. He has a great way of teaching, he has a great way of getting the guys motivated, and he gets the most out of his players. He brings experience from the NFL, as well as college, so not only does he understand what’s going on in the league now, he understands what the players coming from college are used to and how to better translate the trends they’re going to see.”
The chain of events that saw Bielema’s name pop up in collegiate circles recently began shortly after he was hired by New York. Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio resigned, and Bielema’s name surfaced in connection to that job. The Spartans chose Colorado head coach Mel Tucker, creating a vacancy there.
Dorrell was head coach at UCLA from 2003-2007, compiling a 35-27 record.