Bret Bielema left Wisconsin to take the head job at Arkansas in December 2012. The move surprised many, including Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, because the Badgers were coming off a third Big Ten championship under Bielema.
Alvarez and Bielema had grown close in Madison, but the departure killed the relationship. Until now.
ESPN's Adam Rittenberg has the story of how the two are on speaking terms again.
It took time and encouragement, mainly from their wives and mutual friends, but Alvarez and Bielema have reconciled. A friendship that both men treasure is in its second act.
"Sometimes you just bury the hatchet and appreciate guys for who they are and remember the great times we had together, and move forward," Alvarez told ESPN.com last week. "Life's too short."
Added Bielema: "It's like we've never missed a beat."
And then there's this story, which is unbelievable if only for the fact that there's no way that Bielema has ever split a meal with anyone in his life.
Before Bielema met his wife, Jen, he ate dinner with Alvarez multiple times a week. One time, they ate with Cindy at a country club close to their homes. Surveying the menu, the coaches identified a surf-and-turf combo. One of them proposed splitting it. Done deal.
A moment passed. Cindy Alvarez turned to her husband.
"I'm married to you," she told Barry. "Maybe you'd want to do that with me instead?"
Still a better love story than Twilight.