Auburn Hires Malzahn, Arkansas Gets Bielema in College Football

Gus Malzahn is returning to Auburn University as head football coach, a season after leaving for Arkansas State, and Bret Bielema is moving from the University of Wisconsin to the University of Arkansas as head coach.

Auburn and Arkansas, both in the Southeastern Conference, announced the hiring of their new coaches yesterday.

Auburn did not release terms of the contract it offered Malzahn, 47, who was offensive coordinator there in 2009-11 and helped guide the Tigers to the 2010 national championship with Cam Newton at quarterback.

“This is a homecoming for me, and I look forward to being reunited with the Auburn family,” Malzahn, who led Arkansas State to a 9-3 record and the Sun Belt Conference title this season, said in a release on Auburn’s website.

Malzahn replaces Gene Chizik, who was fired Nov. 25 after the Tigers went winless in conference play this season. Chizik, 50, was 33-19 in four seasons at Auburn.

Bielema, 42, was 68-24 with the Badgers since 2006 and has taken the team to three consecutive Rose Bowl games. Wisconsin has been ranked in the Associated Press Top 10 during five of Bielema’s seven seasons in Madison.

Wisconsin (8-5), which won the Big Ten championship, plays Stanford University (11-2) in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. It was not immediately clear whether Bielema would coach the Badgers in that game.

Arkansas did not release terms of his contract. The deal is for six years and is worth $3.2 million annually, AP reported, citing a person familiar with the situation who requested anonymity.

Arkansas opened the season ranked No. 10 in the AP poll before losing four of its first five games and finishing 4-8 under first-year coach John L. Smith. It was the first time since 2008 that the Fayetteville-based Razorbacks failed to become eligible for a postseason bowl game.

Boston College

Smith, 64, was fired as Razorbacks coach last month. He replaced Bobby Petrino, who was fired in April after four seasons when he was injured in a motorcycle accident and then covered up the fact that a female football staff member also was on the bike.

Also yesterday, Boston College hired Steve Addazio as its new football coach. Addazio, 53, led Temple University to a 13-11 record the past two seasons. He replaces Frank Spaziani, who was fired after four seasons as head coach at Boston College.

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