Rumors had been circulating about the possibility of Bret Bielema returning to the college coaching ranks. There was an opening at Southern Miss, and the former Arkansas head coach was one of the names tied to the job. However, the Golden Eagles announced Wednesday that they have decided to hire Tulane offensive coordinator Will Hall.

That means, for now, Bielema will remain in the NFL. Since getting fired by Arkansas in 2017, he has spent the past three seasons as an NFL assistant — two with the New England Patriots (2018-19) and one with the New York Giants, as he is currently their outside linebackers coach/senior defensive assistant.

But that doesn’t mean Bielema won’t ever return to the college ranks after he was the head coach at Wisconsin from 2006-12 and at Arkansas from 2013-17. Earlier this week, the former Razorbacks leader discussed his future with the media.

“I’ve had a history in college football, so I think that’s always gonna be out there. I’m sure you can hear a lot of things on the net that are true or untrue, you just kind of do your business,” Bielema said (h/t Steven Taranto of “I keep [Giants head coach] Joe [Judge] abreast of anything that kind of comes my way. He’s been great. He knew going into this job, going back to last year, certain things that may come up on my radar. And he’s been awesome. Ownership’s been great.”

So, it certainly seems possible that Bielema could take over a college program at some point down the line, if the interest ends up being there from both sides.

Bielema went 68-24 during his seven seasons at Wisconsin. He then went 29-34 during his five years at Arkansas, leading the Razorbacks to three straight bowl appearances from 2014-16.