Bret Bielema played college football as a defensive lineman at the University of Iowa under coach Hayden Fry from 1989 to 1992 serving as team captain his senior season.
He is a former Head Football Coach of the University of Arkansas, ending with a 29–34 record. Bielema also served as Head Football Coach at University of Wisconsin–Madison from 2006 to 2012, achieving a 68–24 record. In his first season as Head Coach of the Wisconsin Badgers in 2006, Bielema's team ended the regular season 11–1.
Prior to the 2018 NFL season, Bielema was hired by the New England Patriots as a defensive consultant tBill Belichick. Bielema was promoted ahead of the 2019 season to defensive line coach. On January 21, 2020, the New York Giants hired Bielema as their Outside Linebackers Coach and Senior Assistant. In 2021 Coach Beliema was named the Head Football Coach at the University of illinois.