TAMPA, Fla. — Bret Bielema is still working on winning a championship at Arkansas, but the Razorbacks coach has certainly taken his place among the most entertaining speakers in college football.
The Arkansas head coach mixed his humor with information for the parents of prospects that attended the Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy at Thomas Jefferson High School in Tampa on Sunday.
“I’m a laid-back dude,” Bielema said. “I’m a flip-flop wearing, reggae-loving guy that just kinda loves my job.
“I think I should get arrested every day when they tell me what I make.”
For the record, Bielema is the SEC’s eighth-highest-paid coach at $4.06 million annually, though he introduced himself in modest fashion on Sunday.
“My name’s been confused with every eating disorder out there, so Coach B is an easy one,” Bielema said before sharing a list of coaching stops that has included Iowa, Kansas State and Wisconsin prior to taking over the Hogs in 2013.
“I’ve recruited the state of Florida and signed over 80 players from this state during my career because I love coming down here, you get a lot of variety.” Bielema said. “The one thing you are given in life, that you are given at birth and doesn’t cost a dime, is your name, and your name is unique to you.”
Bielema said parents should avoid the temptation of comparing their son’s recruitment to those of others on his team or at his position
“The one thing I’d really stress to you is this should be one of the most enjoyable times of your life, and a lot of times people get misery out of it,” he said. “The part I would say is just know that your son’s story is unique to him.”