CURRENT JOB: Head coach at the University of Wisconsin
CURRENT ESTIMATED SALARY: $1.46 million
TIES TO UM: Bielema was the defensive coordinator under former coach Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin. Alvarez was the head coach when current UM president Donna Shalala was there. The three are all professionally related.
WHAT MAKES HIM A GOOD CANDIDATE: Bielema has worked under some very good coaches and was given the keys to the Wisconsin program in 2006. His first season resulted in a 12-1 record. His team won 10 games last season, including a win over Miami in the bowl game. They're 11-1 right now. He's 49-15 in five seasons there. In year five, Bielema's team won the Big 10 championship. Wisconsin is the only BCS program to have a Top 25 scoring offense and a Top 25 scoring defense in each of the last two seasons. His teams are always tough, physical, well-coached, and disciplined. He's widely considered one of the up-and-coming head coaches in all of college football. All of this success has been taking place while the Badgers aren't getting first tier players out of high school. In Big 10 country, Wisconsin's not going to sign a kid who has offers from Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State. In Florida, they're not getting a kid who has offers from the Big 3. In other words, he's getting the most out of his players. If he were to coach at Miami, he'd have more talent to work with and would have a huge upside as far as potentially winning championships.
WHY IT MAY BE UNLIKELY: Bielema is from the Midwest. He played at Iowa and has coached in that part of the country for nearly his entire career. He has a chance to become one of the all-time great coaches in Wisconsin history. An 11-1 season in 2010 and a Big 10 championship means he could be getting a pay raise. Those are just a few factors that could come into play.
BOTTOM LINE: He's a very good football coach. He's done a tremendous job at Wisconsin. If he can win 21 games with second tier recruits at Wisconsin, imagine what he'd be able to do with a recruiting base like the one Miami has. Landing Bielema would be considered a big time hire.
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