This morning we learned that Mike Markuson had been fired Sunday afternoon by Bret Bielema. Today, we had the opportunity to hear from both of them about what transpired.
Bielema, speaking at a press conference, had the following to say:
Speaking of how he has never liked how most head coaches wait until the end of the season to make a change, Bielema said, "Decisions traditionally are made at the end of the year, and it always drove me nuts. My first experience in coaching where there were some guys that really weren't where we needed to be as a staff. And it hurt everybody overall. So I always kind of said to myself, as I got older, grew into the profession, if I was ever in a position that I knew transition be needed to be made, I wasn't going to be the one that waited until it was comfortable, I was going to make the decision when it needed to be made. Panic is for the outside world. Reality is what I live in. As the head coach I'm the one responsible for everybody, every player, every coach, every family, support staff, and just felt that as head coach I've got to make some decisions once in a while that aren't going to be popular, and from the outside world looking in may not make the most sense."
Markuson, speaking on SiriusXM radio (hear the full audio at this link), was clearly frustrated (as any competitive person would be). In the interview, Markuson first vented about the lack of a passing game; but went on to explain what happened. Markuson said Bielema called him into his office yesterday afternoon after their staff meeting and explained that he was letting him go. "It was a surprise to me; but in this business you gotta anticipate anything....coaches get hired and fired it's just getting fired after two games..."
Bart Miller who will now coach the offensive line played ball under former Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad at New Mexico and is very familiar with Bostad's system and terminology. Several coaches reached out to us today to tell us that Miller is a great young coach and a great guy.