As the coach at Wisconsin, Bret Bielema had a difficult time keeping his coaching staff together. That was a big reason for his move to Arkansas following the 2012 season, but the issue of retaining his assistants is still prevalent.
Bielema has lost 14 assistants since 2011, according to CoachingSearch.com’s Chris Vannini. Eight of those changes have come since Bielema took over at Arkansas.
Former wide receivers coach George McDonald (2012), defensive line coach Charlie Partridge (2013) and running backs coach Joel Thomas (2014) all left for noticeable promotions. However, there are a few coaches who left for jobs that were arguably considered lateral moves.
Former cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson (2013) departed for the same position at Purdue. Chris Ash (2013) was the defensive coordinator for the Razorbacks when he left to be the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State. Randy Shannon (2014) was the assistant head coach and linebackers coach when he went to Florida to be a co-coordinator.
Former offensive coordinator Jim Chaney (2014) went to Pittsburgh for the same position. And of course, offensive line coach Sam Pittman (2015) most recently parted ways with Arkansas to take the same position on Kirby Smart’s staff at UGA.
One credit to Bielema is that he has been able to hire coaches who are coveted by other programs, but the difficulty in keeping his staff together has not gotten easier since making the move to the SEC.