Arkansas hires Wisconsin’s Bielema as coach

In a stunning move, Bret Bielema

is leaving Wisconsin to take over at Arkansas, a source close to the situation

has confirmed to


Bielema, who has taken the Badgers

to three straight Rose Bowls, takes over a Razorbacks program that has been

seeking a permanent replacement for Bobby Petrino after his firing in August. The hiring was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.

The official announcement of Bielema’s hire is expected to come on Wednesday. He reportedly wants to coach Wisconsin in its upcoming Rose Bowl game against Pac-12 champion Stanford.

He began his coaching career

at Iowa before a two-year stint at Kansas State as co-defensive coordinator in

2002-03, then went on to Wisconsin, where he led Barry Alvarez’s defense. Bielema has led the Badgers to two Big Ten titles and three-consecutive Rose Bowl appearances.

He succeeded the Hall of Fame

coach in 2006, going 12-1 in his first season and was 68-24 in seven seasons.

Since Bielema took over for Alvarez, Wisconsin leads all Big Ten teams in points scored and total offense. Only Ohio State has accumulated more wins (74) than Wisconsin among Big Ten teams since 2006.