Arkansas hires former assistant Pittman as head coach
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Arkansas announced Sunday that one of its former assistant football coaches, Sam Pittman, will be its new head coach, his first time in that role after some three decades as an assistant.
Pittman is replacing the fired Chad Morris.
The 58-year-old Pittman is well versed in the Southeastern Conference and is highly regarded for his recruiting, having spent four seasons as offensive line coach at Georgia. He was also named associate head coach for the Bulldogs before this season.
Prior to his Georgia stint, Pittman -- whose career as an offensive line coach dates to the 1990s -- served as Arkansas' assistant head coach, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator from 2013-15. He also had previous jobs as an assistant at Tennessee and North Carolina, among many others.
Arkansas' athletic director, Hunter Yurachek, made the hiring announcement on Sunday. KATV in Little Rock reported that a press conference would be held Monday afternoon.
According to ESPN, Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach were among others with whom Arkansas spoke about the coaching vacancy.
In a statement, Yurachek said, "Sam Pittman has been an integral part of successful teams that have competed at the highest levels, including for SEC and NCAA Championships.
"As one of the nation's premier offensive line coaches, he has built a remarkable body of work thanks to his tremendous passion for his student-athletes, including teaching the fundamentals and developing his players on and off the field. ... Throughout this process, I heard from many of his former players about the tremendous influence he had on them as a player and as a man," the statement continued.
"We've got ourselves a new Head Hog. Welcome to Arkansas, Coach Pittman!" the school's football program tweeted.
The Razorbacks are coming off their second straight 2-10 season. Their last last winning season came in 2016, when they were 7-6. That capped a run of three winning seasons that included two bowl wins in three appearances.
Morris was ousted on Nov. 10, one day after Arkansas was routed on its home turf by Western Kentucky 45-19. In less than two full seasons under Morris, the Razorbacks went winless in 14 SEC games and 4-18 overall.