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Posted on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 6:50 a.m.

University of Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema reads EVERYTHING

By Michael Rothstein

In a college football culture where coaches continually say they don’t read anything the media writes or has Internet bans for themselves, University of Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema is a clear exception.

He, apparently loves to read - read everything.

“I love to read what people say about us,” Bielema said. “When I’m playing a certain opponent, I love to read the coaches’ and players’ comments during the course of the week about preparing to defend us or preparing to play us on any given Saturday.”

Not surprising, though, that Bielema read everything. Twenty years ago, coaches were much more open about reading newspapers and finding out about what opponents said about them. And in reality - from the offense to the way the program operates - how much has changed in Madison the past 20 years?

“My first year was every coach talked about the difficulties in preparing and playing against a Wisconsin offense, because there’s a fullback in the game, there might be two tight ends,” Bielema said. “It’s very unique, because a lot of schools we play against don’t even have a fullback.

“Last year, we had two guys 240-plus playing fullback, and it’s hard to get one guy to do that, let alone two guys. It’s also that we feel like we can recruit (that) at Wisconsin.”

Keep in mind, too, that Wisconsin runs almost as much as any team in the Big Ten - and certainly throw the ball less. Plus, the Badgers’ history lies in the running back position, from Alan Ameche to Brent Moss to Ron Dayne, Anthony Davis, Brian Calhoun and recently, P.J. Hill. This year’s best bet is John Clay and, unsurprisingly, he has all-Big Ten potential.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558 or at



Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 1:32 p.m.

Don't most teams have a low-paid or volunteer coach whose duty is to do what Bielema is doing? Good to see that he manages his time enough that he still has some left over to read. Maybe he should retire from coaching and give time-management seminars to fellow coaches. He may feel like doing exactly that after this year.