Barry Alvarez sat down with the Wall Street Journal to explain exactly how the Bret Bielema to Arkansas situation played out in his eyes, and what they’re looking for in the new head coach at Wisconsin.
As he explains, Bielema came into to his office Tuesday and said that they “needed to talk”. That’s when he informed Alvarez that Arkansas had offered him their head coaching job, and that he was going to take it. Alvarez confirmed that Bielema had already made his decision, and that there was no need for Wisconsin to make a counter offer.
The first move that Alvarez made after that conversation was to pick up the phone in order to reach out to people that he had on his “short list” in an effort to gauge their interest in the position.
As far as the new head coach goes, Alvarez explains that his first inclination is to look at guys that are acting head coaches, who have a sucessful track record in coaching and, most importantly, will fit into the Wisconsin culture and understand “how they win”. He added that he does not plan on rushing the decision.
“My next responsibility is to start to screen head coaching candidates and keep moving forward, but I’m not going to be in a big rush, because it’s a very important decision, and I’m going to make sure it’s the right decision.”
The interview is a bit long, but is worth watching until the very end. Alvarez goes on to explain why picking new members for conference expansion is “not like grocery shopping”, and what it takes to turn around a losing culture.