UW finalizes contracts with Bielema, Alvarez

Badger future head coach signs deal

University of Wisconsin Chancellor John D. Wiley announced Friday that five-year contracts with Athletic Director Barry Alvarez and soon-to-be head football coach Bret Bielema have been finalized.

Both contracts begin Feb. 1, 2006 and run to Jan. 31, 2011. Bielema, who formally takes over for Alvarez as head football coach Jan. 30, will make $750,000 the first year, which consists of a $350,000 base salary from the athletic department and an additional $400,000 paid through private funds under a compensation agreement with the University of Wisconsin Foundation. The latter amount will increase by $25,000 each year.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, if Bielema leaves during the first year, he will owe the university $1 million, and he would pay $500,000 if he leaves during the second year. He would not pay Wisconsin anything if he leaves anytime after the second year.

Alvarez will make $600,000 in his first year, of which $500,000 will come from the athletic department and $100,000 will come from private funds via the Mendota Gridiron Club and the National W Club.

"These agreements provide us with solid, committed leadership in these key areas and reflect our confidence in both Barry and Bret to keep our athletic administration and football program among the finest in the nation," Wiley said in a press release Friday.

Bielema, who was an assistant coach at Iowa for nine seasons and the co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State before spending the last two seasons as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, said he was pleased with the opportunities Wisconsin has given him.

"Chancellor Wiley and Coach Alvarez have extended me a fantastic opportunity to build on our record of success and great tradition," Bielema said in the release. "I'm enthusiastic about the future of Badger football and this chance to advance the program."

Alvarez, meanwhile, will no longer hold the dual role of coach and athletic director, which he has formally held since April 1, 2004.

"I'm eager to hone in on making all of our programs successful, making sure sports is a strong part of the campus experience, assuring we're in compliance with all regulations and building the pride and tradition that has always surrounded Badger athletics," Alvarez said.