FAYETTEVILLE — New Arkansas defensive line coach Charlie Partridge will make $350,000 annually, according to his letter of agreement with the Razorbacks.
Partridge’s salary was released by Arkansas on Monday, two days after the coach was added to Bret Bielema’s staff. It’s a 45 percent raise in salary for the former Wisconsin assistant, who reportedly earned $241,750 with the Badgers last season.
His Arkansas agreement runs through June 30, 2014.
Partridge was the fourth assistant named to Bielema’s staff, joining former Wisconsin defensive coordinator Chris Ash ($550,000 annually through the 2014 season), former Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney ($550,000 annually through the 2015), and former Tennessee offensive line coach Sam Pittman ($275,000 annually through the 2013 season).
Chaney and Pittman have joined Bielema in Fayetteville, while Ash and Partridge won’t arrive until after Wisconsin plays Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
Bielema has said one of the biggest reasons he left Wisconsin was because of his growing frustration in being unable to retain assistant coaches because of salary restrictions. He said during his introductory press conference at Arkansas his staff would be “second to none” because of the resources at his disposal with the Hogs.
He referenced the extra allotment of money available for assistants again during an interview with ESPN’s “College Football Live” on Monday.
“I had lost quite a few (assistants) over the last couple years,” Bielema said. “Basically, some that moved for cash reasons and to provide for their families. So I got a huge jump in my assistant coaches salary pool, which was big.”
Partridge is more proof Bielema is making the most of the resources.
By comparison, Arkansas paid defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell a base salary of $257,000 in 2012 and his pay was bumped to $321,250 because of a longevity bonus awarded to each coach after Bobby Petrino’s dismissal last April. Defensive tackles coach Kevin Peoples earned $200,000 in base pay, $250,000 with the bonus.
Two more hires
Bielema officially introduced two more members of the football staff Monday night, when Chris Hauser was named director of on campus recruiting and Mark Taurisani was tabbed as director of football operations. Both came from Wisconsin.
Taurisani worked at Wisconsin for seven years, three of them as director of football operations. He also spent two years as the football operations coordinator and two more as the football operations assistant with the Badgers.
“He is knowledgeable in his craft and has demonstrated great attention to detail and also the hard work necessary to be the best and keep our program running smoothly and efficiently,” Bielema said in a news release. “Mark has been an essential member of my staff for the past seven years and I’m looking forward to having him join us at Arkansas.”
Hauser, who reportedly has been in Fayetteville working with the program, was with Bielema’s staff at Wisconsin last season. Prior to joining the Badgers, Hauser spent a season as the director of high school relations at Toledo. Hauser also has 11 years of coaching experience.
“He has shown tremendous work ethic throughout his career, and his hiring is another step in compiling the best staff in the country,” Bielema said in a news release. “In his role, he will be an important piece of attracting not only the players we are bringing to Fayetteville but the person. Chris has demonstrated he understands our system, ideas and beliefs and he will work to identify and recruit student-athletes who fit into the culture of our program.”
Hauser, Taurisani, defensive coordinator Chris Ash and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge have all followed Bielema from Wisconsin to Arkansas.
Offense work in progress
Bielema wants Arkansas’ offense centered around a power running game. But the coach acknowledged Tuesday his personnel may not match the plan right away.
Bielema, during his “College Football Live” interview, said it’s obvious the personnel scheme “isn’t quite fit,” but believes Chaney’s addition to the staff will be important in the transition. Chaney has experience in both pro-style and spread offenses and said the Razorbacks will be a “blend” of both next season.
“I look for balance,” Bielema said during the ESPN interview. “I’d love to be able to sit here a year from now and know that we averaged over 200 yards throwing and running a game. That’s a magic number to me that brings a lot of success. It’s going to be a work in progress, but one that we’re really excited for.”
Report: Veltkamp to N.C. State
Arkansas strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp is leaving the Razorbacks for a position at North Carolina State, according to multiple reports.
Veltkamp has spent the past five seasons with Arkansas and played a hand in the program’s success under Bobby Petrino. He will work with new North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren, who was an assistant under Bielema at Wisconsin before landing the head coaching position at Northern Illinois in 2010.