VIDEO: Julie Cromer Peoples addresses Bret Bielema's firing

By: Matt Jones
Published: Friday, November 24, 2017
Arkansas interim athletics director Julie Cromer Peoples addresses the firing of football coach Bret Bielema on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas interim athletics director Julie Cromer Peoples addresses the firing of football coach Bret Bielema on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.

-Julie Cromer Peoples is now at the stage.

-She said she met with Bielema in his team office. "It was not an easy to have as Coach Bielema has represented the University of Arkansas and our program with class."

-She says the decision was made to fire him tonight so he could meet with players before many went home for the holiday weekend.

-"We must win games," Cromer Peoples said.

-She says Arkansas' fan base, tradition and facilities "will attract the interest of many top coaches across the country."

-Asked about Bielema's buyout, Cromer Peoples said the Razorback Foundation will determine whether details are released.

-She says Bielema was being evaluated "through the game today" and "it was important to wait until the end of the season."

-Cromer Peoples says the coaching search begins tonight. She will lead the search.

-Asked whether the early signing period expedites the coaching search, Cromer Peoples said "it was important for us to move on this decision today for a lot of reasons."

-Asked whether a permanent AD needs to be in place to hire a coach, Cromer Peoples said no. The advisory committee for the AD search will not be involved in the search for a coach.

-She said Chancellor Joe Steinmetz is focused on finding an AD. Her focus is on the football coach. She said there "will be some key advisors" in the search, but no formal search committee.

-Paul Rhoads will be interim head coach.

-Rhoads and the football staff with meet with Cromer Peoples at 10 a.m. Saturday.

-Cromer Peoples was involved in the Indiana search that landed Kevin Wilson in 2011.

-Asked about qualities in the coach, she said it is important to have a coach "that understands and relates to our culture both here at the university and our state, and our region."

-She said she is looking "for somebody who can be successful in the Southeastern Conference" but won't limit the search to candidates with SEC ties.

-She said there is no timeline to make a hire.

That is all with Julie Cromer Peoples. Check WholeHogSports.com for more updates throughout the night.

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