HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - If you have texted Bret Bielema over the last few days and haven't heard back from him, there is a reason for it. "Don't take it personally if I hadn't responded to you yet. I had about 500 messages."
Why all the messages? They are congratulating the Razorbacks coach on the birth of his daughter just days before the start of SEC Media Days. One of those people was SEC Commissioner, Greg Sankey, which resulted in pocket-dial dilemma.
"My wife wanted a double veggie bowl from Chipotle -- trying to get an endorsement right there -- I was walking down, and I recognized the FaceTime," says Bielema, "This is pretty cool, the commissioner is Face Timing me. That's pretty neat. He said, Why were you calling me? I said, I apologize, I must have butt-dialed you. That was a unique experience."
Now in his 5th year, Bret's stamp is firmly on this team, "these guys are guys that I recruited or decided to make a scholarship offer to."
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He knows last year didn't end on a high note, with losses to both Missouri in the regular season finale and Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl. Coach Bielema says the team is responding well to what they are asking of them, and he feels they have a strong game plan for the upcoming season. "Our kids have been great. They've owned and embraced what we didn't do well at the end of the year. Focused on what we can do well. We're going to focus on winning games in the second half, not losing them, putting our best personnel on the field, no matter how that comes about, and then really trying to play and understand what it means to be at Arkansas and have that come through."
Arkansas opens the 2017 season against Florida A&M on Thursday, August 31st.