Bret Bielema and Wisconsin aren't getting along.
The longtime Wisconsin head coach had already been under fire for a 7-5 season, and the vitriol only increased after he left the program for Arkansas in the wake of a Big Ten Championship win over Nebraska. As Chris Vannini of CoachingSearch.com reported Wednesday night, Bielema has been taking some time to respond to his critics:
In using social media to respond to critics, Bielema is bringing a longstanding Big Ten tradition to the South. Northern coaches have used Twitter to address critics in the past. For instance, former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster once used his Twitter account to attack Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist and frequent critic Pat Reusse, tweeting a cryptic message about "Fat Pat" late one April night. The tweet was quickly deleted.
Former Illinois coach Ron Zook also once confronted someone on Twitter, though the nature of the confrontation was never fully revealed. At approximately 3:45 a.m. Champaign time one summer night, Zook asked someone "Is that all U got" before requesting a face-to-face confrontation.
Since those initial missteps, coaching Twitter feeds have become far less confrontational. It's great to see Bielema, a coach known for his "old school" offensive tendencies, extend that philosophy to the Internet. It should serve him well, given the docile sanity of his new program's fans.