Bielema’s success earns a new compensation package

Feb. 9, 2007

by Dennis Chaptman

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today (Feb. 9) approved an amended contract with UW-Madison head football coach Bret Bielema that will increase his compensation package to $1.3 million in the deal's first year.

In addition to the compensation increase, the contract was extended an additional year, through Jan. 31, 2012.

"The contract's pay adjustment reflects Bret's sound and strong leadership of our football program," says Chancellor John D. Wiley. "He's been recognized nationally for his remarkable first-year achievements. The package provides him compensation more in line with the market forces at work in college football."

Bielema says the contract amendment, which comes as he begins his second year as head coach, is a sign of the university's commitment to excellence in the football program.

"I'm very grateful that the university administration and the regents have shown this level of confidence in our program. I appreciate their support and I will work — along with my staff — to justify that confidence by continuing to help our student-athletes grow academically, athletically and socially," Bielema says.

Bielema led the Badgers to a 12-1 overall record and a 7-1 mark in Big Ten play en route to being named the 2006 Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year.

The Badgers, who capped Bielema's inaugural season with a 17-14 victory over Arkansas in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, set school records in overall and conference victories. That effort led Bielema to become just the third rookie head coach in NCAA Division I history to lead his team to 12 victories.

Athletic director Barry Alvarez, who stepped down as football coach after the 2005 season to lead the department, says the contract shows that Bielema's talents are highly valued by the university.

"Bret had a terrific first season, one that made us the envy of many universities nationally," Alvarez says. "He did it through hard work, by setting high standards on the field and in the classroom and by refusing to compromise on his values."

Walter Dickey, chair of the Athletic Board, says the Badgers' performance — on and off the field — clearly merits a contract adjustment.

"We recognize his commitment to Wisconsin," Dickey says. "Bret has represented the university selflessly in his many interactions with the public and has kept the Badgers in the forefront of college football."

The contract amendment calls for Bielema's base salary to be $400,000.

Additionally, he will receive $900,000 in the deal's first year from sports-generated, multimedia program revenue. That amount will increase by $100,000 in each subsequent year.

In his first season, Bielema received a package that consisted of a $350,000 base salary and $400,000 from department program revenue, for a total of $750,000.