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Arkansas fires head coach Bret Bielema after five seasons

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  • By College Football 24/7 staff NFL.com
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Bret Bielema is out at Arkansas.

Interim athletics director Julie Cromer Peoples announced his firing immediately after the Razorbacks' loss to Missouri on Friday. Bielema told reporters he was informed of his dismissal when he was coming off the field after the game.

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"Shortly after the completion of today's game, I met with Coach Bielema and informed him of our decision to move forward with new leadership in the Razorback Football program," Cromer Peoples stated in a release. "During the course of the past five seasons, we have not been able to sustain the success on the field that is expected and required at the University of Arkansas.

"There is no question that Coach Bielema has been a valued and respected member of our department and has made a positive impact on the lives of our student-athletes, including supporting them in their pursuit of graduation. We are grateful for his contributions to our program and most importantly his investment in the lives of our student-athletes. We wish him the very best both personally and professionally."

Bielema went 29-34 (11-29 in SEC play) in five seasons with Arkansas, including 4-8 this year. Bielema was considered to be in danger of losing his job without improvement from the team in 2017, and when Arkansas AD Jeff Long, who hired Bielema, was fired earlier this month, it seemed to seal Bielema's fate.

He appeared to have the program moving in the right direction, as the team improved its record in consecutive seasons in 2014 and 2015, but the Razorbacks suffered back-to-back embarrassing losses to close out the 2016 season, blowing big leads in each. The team finished this season with its worst record since Bielema's first year on the job.

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