Illinois said Bielema will receive a six-year contract with an annual salary starting at $4.2 million, and begin work immediately. Bret Bielema is returning to college football as head coach at the University of Illinois. He's now expanded that to 10 assistant coaches and the group have begun the process of rebuilding Illinois football. Bielema’s six-year deal will pay him a total of $26.7 million, with a starting salary of $4.2 million the first […] He signed a six-year contract paying $4.2 million annually. Bielema’s contract with Illinois is for six years with an annual salary of $4.2 million. Eight coaches on Bielema’s staff also had their contracts approved. CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — It’s going on 40 days since Bret Bielema was announced as Illinois’ football coach, and since then he has assembled a staff, met returning players, recruited new ones, persuaded a top player to pull his name out of the transfer portal and made the rounds getting to know administrators and alumni. Bret Bielema arrived as Illinois' new football coach in December as a one-man band. The hire was national news, and Bielema even called into ESPN's College GameDay from a car. WCIA — New Illinois football coach Bret Bielema’s contract was formally approved by the school’s Board of Trustees at its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday. (ESPN) -- Illinois is hiring former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema to lead its football program, the school announced Saturday. Illinois football has hired former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema and here are three takeaways for the Fighting Illini. ... Bielema's initial contract is for six years beginning with a salary of $4.2 million. The school announced Bielema as their head coach on Saturday after signing a six-year contract with the annual salary of $4.2 million. He will be … Illinois football hired Prophetstown native Bret Bielema as its new coach on Saturday morning.. 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