FAYETTEVILLE — Bret Bielema has generated plenty of publicity through his Twitter account since being named Arkansas’ coach last December.
But it appears the entertainment is being shelved for a few months.
Bielema announced Monday evening he would spend the fall away from his Twitter page. Instead, he’ll do something else: Coaching his team.
“With game week in full swing my Twitter feed will be little to none until 2014,” Bielema said via Twitter.
Bielema did leave a suggestion.
Follow his wife, Jen.
“If you want true entertainment about us, two dogs named Ricky and Lucy, and various other random topics follow my wife @jenbielema,” Bielema tweeted.
Bielema has used Twitter to interact with Arkansas fans the past eight months, retweeting their vacation, wedding and honeymoon photos. More recently, he has posted photos of players in preseason camp and also announced the Razorbacks had selected their four captains. Earlier this week, Bielema even posted a photo of his wife wearing a pig snout, saying she is “getting ready for gameday.”
Arkansas also used Bielema's tweets as promotion. He revealed the cover of the 2013 football media guide via Twitter in July. Arkansas also put Bielema's Twitter handle on the cover along with those of team captains Kiero Small, Travis Swanson and Chris Smith. The Razorbacks called it a "groundbreaking aspect" that allowed "fans to directly interact with the Arkansas football program's leaders."
But what Bielema has become known most for on Twitter is firing back at critics, many of who have been Wisconsin fans upset about his departure last winter.
One of the most memorable exchanges came earlier this summer:
“Have you lost weight," someone asked Bielema.
"Have you lost those glasses and hair cut," Bielema responded.
The willingness to fire back has endeared Bielema to Arkansas fans. His players have enjoyed the coach’s confidence, too, laughing at some of his responses.
“He’s a very outspoken guy,” Arkansas defensive end Chris Smith said at SEC Media Days. “He’s not going to beat around the bush. … What you see is what you get.”
But Bielema’s list of Twitter followers, which had reached 68,919 on Tuesday morning, may have to wait until 2014 for the entertaining posts to return.
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau