Get to Know: Bret Bielema

Local Sports

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Almost a week after his hiring, the record, the history, and the future goals of new Illini head coach Bret Bielema have all been spelled out. But you still might not know what instrument he played in high school. WCIA Sports Director Bret Beherns gets to know the new man in charge of Illini football.

BRET BEHERNS: Tell me something that people might not know about you?

BRET BIELEMA: All-state tuba player.


BIELEMA: I can’t say I was in any good but I was in the all-state band.

BEHERNS: When’s the last time you played a tuba?

BIELEMA: Oh man. I remember it was homecoming, after I was done playing I was an assistant at Iowa so probably 1994.

BEHERNS: What’s your favorite food?

BIELEMA: I am a sushi guy. I am kind of excited to find out what the best sushi place is here in town and in the Champaign-Urbana area because I do love sushi.

BEHERNS: And what’s your favorite vacation spot?

BIELEMA: Any place where you can wear sandals and flip flops and put on a lot of sunscreen, that’s my favorite place to get to.

BEHERNS: Are you a short and flip flop kind of guy all year round?

BIELEMA: I think the world would be a better place if no one wore shoes. Flip flops just make everybody feel a little bit better. We have a little tradition of Flip Flop Friday’s. You know as you get better and start winning games, that intensity, that stress level building up to a game gets real so literally all day Friday, I let them and encourage my players to wear flip flops and be free and let it all go on Saturday so hopefully we’ll be in a position to have a little Flip Flop Friday here.

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