Bret Bielema reportedly felt pressure after suffering five losses as the head of the Wisconsin Badgers during the 2012 season, ESPN 760 AM reports. Bielema accepted the vacant head coaching position for the Arkansas Razorbacks on Tuesday.
Jack Daniels is the head coach of Dwyer High School in Palm Beach County, Fla., a school that has been a pipeline for Wisconsin football players during Bielema's tenure. Daniels said he spoke to Bielema on Monday, and found out then that the coach was mulling over a change.
"I talked to him yesterday. He sounded down," said Daniels. "He said he had offers in front of him and had some decision to make."
"He had always said he wanted to retire at Wisconsin, but he took a lot of heat this year (5 losses). I don't think Bret has that kind of skin."
It is unclear from Daniels' quote if he is referring to pressure from the Wisconsin fanbase, or Barry Alvarez and the athletic department. The Badgers were tabbed as favorites to win the conference title by many before the season began. While the team did ultimately make it to a third straight Rose Bowl, they finished third in their division to Penn State and Ohio State, two teams that were ineligible for the postseason.
If Bielema really did feel heat, it could explain why he made what is viewed as a more-or-less lateral move. It is still unclear whether or not Bielema will be coaching the Badgers when they take on the Stanford Cardinal in Pasadena on Jan. 1.