Badger Fans Buzzing About Bielema Leaving
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
GREEN BAY--Badger fans in Northeast Wisconsin are buzzing about Coach Brett Bielema leaving for Arkansas.
Fans we spoke with are in shock about this huge development. Some are not so disappointed considering the Badger's record this year. While others are taking it hard.
"There's a lot of people that hated him," UW-Madison Alum Barry Paye said. "I liked him. I thought he was a good guy, and hey three Rose Bowls, you don't just get that."
In the bar that's home to Badger's alumni, Paye feels like he's left with a void.
"I'm surprised Brett's leaving. I did not see this coming at all. I mean three Rose Bowls in a row you don't expect a coach to leave under those circumstances," Paye said.
The news of Bielema's departure was the talk of Badger fan Barb Koltz's table.
"I just heard that from my son, and I'm very surprised," Koltz said.
Bielema led Wisconsin to three consecutive Big 10 Championship wins and just secured its third trip to the Rose Bowl.
Now Paye worries if the team can stay on their game.
"Problem is in the short term there's going to be transition with new coaches, new offensive strategies, new defensive strategies, and new players trying to fit current players in the new system. So in the short term it may hurt the program, and in the long term it may depend on who the new coach is and what his philosophy is," Paye said.
Despite the changes, Paye is still a Badger at heart.
"I'm a Badger til the day I die. That's not going to change," Paye said.
It's unknown whether Bielema will coach the Rose Bowl game. Some have called for Barry Alvarez to return to the role for a day--an idea some fans like.