Illinois rewards Bielema with new contract through 2028

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has signed coach Bret Bielema to a new six-year contract through 2028. He’s transformed a struggling program into a winner in two seasons, going 13-11. He gets a bump in salary from $4.2 million to $6 million. The deal is pending approval by the school’s board of trustees in January. It includes various bonuses, like a $500,000 annual retention incentive. The Illini are wrapping up their best season since the 2007 Rose Bowl team won nine games. They’re set to face Mississippi State on Jan. 2 in the ReliaQuest Bowl in Tampa, Florida.

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