Illinois hires Bielema as coach to lift struggling program


(AP) – Bret Bielema is returning to the Big Ten and his home state to coach Illinois. The Illini hired the former Wisconsin and Arkansas coach, hoping he can turn around a program with nine straight losing seasons. Bielema is 97-58 in 12 years at Wisconsin and Arkanas. He went 68-24 with the Badgers from 2006 to 2012 before leaving to coach the Razorbacks. He finished with a 29-34 mark at Arkansas and was fired in November 2017. Bielema has been coaching in the NFL since.