College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).

Bielema couple

This photo of Bret and Jen Bielema was posted on the coach’s Twitter account. The couple will celebrate their 10th anniversary in March.

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There was a double whammy of “Happy Birthdays” this week at Bret Bielema’s house.

On Thursday, the University of Illinois football coach turned 52. The day before, his wife, Jen, celebrated a much lower number.

So, what was the cake of choice for the second-year Illini boss?

“I know I don’t look like it, but I’m not a big sweet-tooth guy,” Bret said. “I don’t think I’m in charge of the cake department.

Jen “had the ultimate pull on what birthday cake we had combined,” he said.

It has been a hectic birthday week for Bret, who spent time at the football coaches convention in San Antonio before returning to C-U on Tuesday. He was in the office early Wednesday morning.

The Bielemas celebrated Jen’s birthday Wednesday. The coach didn’t plan to be at home for his own special day. He’s got places to go, people to see.

On Thursday, “I’m on the road again,” Bret said. “We’re going to make an unofficial recruiting trip to try to recruit some guys back to our program that will take me out of town on my birthday. Whatever cake it is, it’s going to be good, I’m sure.”

On Wednesday, the coach put the following message on Twitter: “@jenbielema you amaze me daily with everything you do in our home and with our girls. Glad we have tonight to celebrate #famILLy #HappyBirthday.”

The message ran with the orange-tinged photo of the couple (above).

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