Gophers fans became accustomed to disliking (which might be a polite term) Bret Bielema when he was the head coach of Wisconsin. When Bielema left for Arkansas after the 2012 season, there were even some Badgers fans who thought it was good riddance.
All that said: Bielema earned points as a coach and human for the way he recently handled the sudden and tragic death of the father of Arkansas offensive lineman Frank Ragnow, who starred locally in high school for Chanhassen.
Per seccountry.com, this past Saturday Bielema got a call from Ragnow's mother informing him that Frank's father, Jon, had suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 50. Bielema was in the middle of dinner with his wife after a lopsided win over Alcorn State — and with Alabama looming next week — but he dropped everything to be with Ragnow when his mom delivered the news and then flew back to Minnesota with his player.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.