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Coaches Already Denying Interest In The Arkansas Job

Earlier today, we made the case that Arkansas AD Jeff Long should simply find or promote an interim coach for 2012 and use the next eight months to thoroughly research every possible coaching candidate in the country.

Who else gets that kind of time to find the right man for a job?

Apparently, UA seems to be heading in that direction.  Matt Jones of The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette writes that “an interim coach seems the most likely route for Arkansas to take” this fall.  In his words, “This is an experienced and invested staff of assistants with which the players feel comfortable.”

If Long’s smart, that’s exactly the route he will take.  But there’s good money — or at least good pageviews and ratings — in kicking around the names of coaching candidates.  So before Bobby Petrino’s coaching casket was lowered into the ground, website and talk radio shows were already targeting his replacement.

Garrick McGee, Butch Davis, Gus Malzahn, Skip Holtz, Dana Holgorsen, Kirby Smart, Art Briles, Charlie Strong, and on and on.

Of those mentioned, two “candidates” have already distanced themselves from the rumors.

Arkansas State’s Malzahn told a radio show this morning that he’s “the coach at Arkansas State” and that he’s “committed” to staying in Jonesboro.

Skip Holtz of South Florida also shot down the speculation.  “I have not talked to anybody from Arkansas… I am not looking to leave here.  I am not calling anybody.  I am not trying to put my name out there.  I want to be the head football coach here.”

Coaches lie, folks.  So I have no doubt that Malzahn or Holtz would jump at the Arkansas job if it were eventually offered.  After the season.

But to move between spring practice and the fall?  That’s a heckuva mark to put on one’s resume.  Such a move wouldn’t be forgotten.  See: Petrino’s own midseason departure from the Atlanta Falcons.

A new coach would also be walking into a complete mess.  How would players embrace him?  Would he come alone and use Petrino’s old staff?  Would he bring in his own staff and learn Petrino’s system from the players?  Would he implement his own system during fall practice?

The right thing for Long to do is to find the best man for Arkansas this year and let that interim handle things in 2012.  Then, by December, Long will have had plenty of time to uncover the perfect choice for next year… and beyond.

 


7 comments
Justin Couts
Justin Couts

For this season to be any kind of salvagable then an interim coach is the right way to handle the job but it also puts you 2 to 3 years behind in recruiting. I think Arkansas has its best chance to dethrone Alabama & LSU THIS year so I agree with your article. This will KILL recruiting for the forseable future since you start building relationships so early now with summer camps.

mountainpig
mountainpig

Keeping McGee would damper the recruiting damage we would take while keeping an interim head coach. Much of the success would hinge on keeping Paul Petrino as offensive coordinator though, which could be awkward.

Geoff McDorms
Geoff McDorms

It's been established earlier today that Arkansas won't hire a replacement until the end of the season.

craig
craig

If Arkansas wanted to stick with the offensive schemes implemented by Petrino, then why wouldn't June Jones be considered? On a lighter note if they are in no hurry to fill the position then bring in Sean Payton as the Arky interim and Petrino could be the interim for the Saints. I mean Petrino's next chance for a job will probably be as an OC in the pros.

Hogitall
Hogitall

John,

 

I ran across this item about Gerrick McGee - http://www.footballscoop.com/news/6145-the-next-head-coach-at-arkansas. I'm not sure how trustworthy this site is, but I have not found any other sites that are mentioning it. What's your take on it?

 

Personally I hope that it isn't true. I believe it would be best to wait a season before bringing him on, if that is what the UofA would like to do. If he were to come in now that would create too much interruption in the lives of the new coaching staff and players at UAB, as well as, the coaches and players at the UofA. It has been reported by several sources that the Hogs want to continue with the current coaching staff. This is a solid team that can achieve its goals with the current leadership. I believe disrupting this would negatively impact the team this coming season.

 

 

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

Absolutely.  Throwing away 1 year or 1 recruiting class is nothing compared to throwing away 4 years or 4 recruiting classes by making a hasty judgement now.

John
John

I really hope you're joking about just about everything you posted.  If so bravo, but if not I don't even know what to think of that.  Surely you know June Jones and Bobby Petrino run very different offenses and that Sean Payton will not be using his suspension time in college....no matter how cool that would be.



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