With two games left in the Razorback football season, University of Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long has been let go effective immediately.
Long, who was the first chair of the College Football Playoff selection committee, remains a member of that crew. Bielema holds a record of 29-32 for the Arkansas Razorbacks and is now 4-6 for the season.
Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz praised Long's "character and integrity" but noted Long had recently lost the support of fans, alumni and university leaders.
Long served as Arkansas' athletic director since 2008 when he took over from legendary figure Frank Broyles.
Bielema had led the Badgers to three straight Rose Bowl appearances when he was hired, and he brought with him instant credibility.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Senior Associate Athletics Director Julie Cromer Peoples will serve as interim director of athletics while the university forms a search committee for Long's replacement. According to Long's bio on ArkansasRazorbacks.com, he transformed Arkansas's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics into one of the most successful and mission-driven programs in the country.
"I think the part that I've enjoyed during my time here with Jeff, from day one to where we are today, has been awesome", Bielema said on the SEC coaches' teleconference before news of Long's firing had become official.
Bielema, then the 42-year-old seventh-year Wisconsin head coach, was a shocking hire after Mike Gundy was widely believed to be the overwhelming favorite (Gundy was also a leading candidate for the Tennessee job). But I know this, winning ball games helps everybody, so that's all I'm focused on.
Bielema said he has not talked to Long this week. All the services we provide, and the support we have given. "It's been awesome to witness".
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