UPDATE: UW Athletic Director Barry Alvarez has issued a press release stating:
"I was very surprised when Bret told me he was taking the offer from Arkansas. He did a great job for us during his seven years as head coach, both on the field and off. I want to thank him for his work and wish him the best at Arkansas.
"I have a responsibility to our student-athletes, our football family and our fans, one that I take very seriously. It is my responsibility to ensure that the football program continues at a high level, and I have already started the process of trying to find a new head coach.
"Along with finding a new coach, my other main objective is to make sure that our student-athletes, specifically our seniors playing in their final game as Badgers, have a tremendous experience in the Rose Bowl. We will do everything within our power to make that happen."
Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports has reported that Wisconsin football head coach Bret Bielema has accepted the head coaching position at Arkansas, and will leave UW following the conclusion of the 2012 season.
Arkansas did not renew the contract of interim head coach John L. Smith after he led the Razorbacks to a 4-8 record in his only season as the team’s head coach.
Bielema put together a 68-24 record in seven years as Badgers head coach. Bielema won the Big Ten Conference three times, won at least 10 games four times and led his team to a bowl game each season, including three straight Rose Bowls.
According to the report, Bielema does plan on coaching the Badgers in the Rose Bowl next month against Stanford. There has been no official word from the University yet regarding Bielema’s departure.