Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
Indiana State coach buddies with Bielema
Indiana State coach Greg Lansing cheers his team near the end of the game against Southern Illinois in an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament, Saturday, March 8, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce)
FAYETTEVILLE - Tonight’s Arkansas-Indiana State NIT basketball game won’t be the first time Sycamores Coach Greg Lansing has been at a sporting event on the UA campus, but it will be different than his first experience.
Lansing was on the Arkansas sideline in Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Aug. 31 for Bret Bielema’s debut as the Hogs’ football coach against Louisiana-Lafayette.
He attended the game, which Arkansas won 34-14, as Bielema’s guest. The two became close friends when both were assistant coaches at Iowa.
“I’m an Arkansas football fan and I’m a bigger Bret Bielema fan,” Lansing said. “So wherever he’s at, I want him to win every game.”
Lansing said he talked to Bielema on Sunday night, after the first-round NIT games were announced, and that he hopes to see him at tonight’s game.
“Obviously, he’s supporting the Razorbacks, as he should,” Lansing said. “We talk periodically throughout the year and stay in close contact.”
Lansing said he always has tried to attend Bielema’s home opener, wherever he’s coaching.
“When I come it’s fun for me, but it’s business for him,” Lansing said. “He’s as hard-working a head coach as I’ve ever been around.
“He’s a grinder. So it’s not like I got to see him much or spend a lot of time with him there [last fall], but he knows I’m there to support him. I came by with a buddy on the sidelines and I got to go by his house after the game.
“That’s what I usually look forward to, is after the game when he doesn’t have to be on with a bunch of different stuff and we just get to sit there and catch up as friends.”
Sports, Pages 21 on 03/18/2014