Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and his former boss, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez, recently caught up with ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg has been repaired after years of not speaking to each other.
When Bielema informed Alvarez in December 2012 that he would be taking the Arkansas job, he described embracing Alvarez and saying goodbye. He didn’t realize they wouldn’t speak again for more than a year. The two had a close working relationship as coach and assistant and then athletic director and head coach and were close friends off the field, frequently vacationing together. Bielema leaving after a Big Ten championship and a public back-and-forth over assistant pay, however, led to hurt feelings.
According to Rittenberg, it was a note from Alvarez in the fall of 2014 congratulating Bielema on his first SEC win. That led to texts between the two, and eventually a meeting in December 2015.
“Sometimes you just bury the hatchet and appreciate guys for who they are and remember the great times we had together, and move forward,” Alvarez said. “Life’s too short.”
Bielema said it was just like old times.
“It’s like we’ve never missed a beat.”
The full article detailing Alvarez’s influence on Bielema and their friendship can be read here.