Head Coach

I know that this will not be popular with a lot of people, but Bobby Petrino is the only coach that has proven that he can win at a high level as a Razorback football coach. I don’t think that we will go back there, but we need to hire a smart, aggressive coach that demands that his team performs with precision and is well schooled in fundamentals.

Hiring a coach that that can duplicate Petrino’s success will be very hard to do. We certainly don’t need a retread coach that has only had moderate success in his career. A young coach that has had success in his limited time as a head coach is the best choice if we want to compete on the highest level. If we want to be doomed to lower tier of the SEC, hire a coach with a mediocre record.

Petrino proved that we could be a competative team in the SEC. Bielema proved that a conventional coach could not. I think that the choice is clear. I want to enjoy football season again. I hope we make the right choice. WPS

Citing one example for each circumstance proves nothing.

What Petrino proved was that HE could be successful at that particular time and place. With the players he had at that time. With the assistants he had at that time. Against the opponents he had to face at that time. Was still not able to win a championship of any kind.

What Bielema proved was he was unsuccessful at a time and place, with all the same variable in play.

Using solitary examples to make a generalization has no merit.

I am sure there are number of coaches who could be successful regardless of “style”. The biggest factor in success is ALWAYS going to be recruiting.
Funny thing, the team with the best players usually wins. Not always. Sometimes really bad coaching can screw up great talent. (Gerry Faust).

Get the best players, instill desire and discipline.
That’s the key.

I agree with doc. You’re drawing too many conclusions with too few examples. Certainly Petrino proved that a coach can win at a high level at Arkansas (even though he always lost at least 2 SEC games.) Beyond that, I don’t think either coach proved anything beyond that one succeeded well on the field & one didn’t.

And one was a good volleyball coach

Look at with Kirby Smart is doing, I say go after venables, he has been around good coaches and coached in the big games. He could go after a prime time OC, OL, DL coaches. With him having the master mine of the defense.

I can cite the records of Houston Nutt, Danny Ford, and the Jack Crowe / Joe Kines eras. Nutt’s record is deceptively good. His teams that featured McFadden, Jones and Hillis who all were featured backs in the NFL, underperformed. Those years should have produced at least one conference championship. Nutt’s other division winners were surrounded by bad or mediocre teams. Danny Ford won one divisional title, but the rest of his tenure featured losing teams. Crowe and Kines had bad teams. Bielema’s best team lost to Toledo. That is a poor resume for conventional run first offenses.

Petrino proved that he could take a Louisville team to the Orange Bowl and then he took Arkansas to its only BCS Bowl ( Sugar). In his last season, Arkansas’ Cotton Bowl Champions.were ranked #5, the highest ranking since Lou Holtz’s Orange Bowl victory over Oklahoma. The best team that any other coach had in Arkansas’ 25 year SEC history was the year that Gus Malzahn was the OC for the DMac team of 2006.

My point is real simple, hire a conventional coach, have a mediocre team Hire an aggressive demanding coach who thinks out of the box!, you have a chance to be good on a consistent basis. Since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992: we have had 3 very good teams. The DMac team with GM OC and the last 2 Petrino teams. I year out of 21 with conventional coaches 2 out 4 with BP.

The SEC numbers don’t lie. The Petrino era was by far the most successful at Arkansas.

I am not advocating re-hiring Petrino. What I am advocating is to hire an inventive, demanding, coach that will field a fundementally sound, well coached team.

The Petrino years proved that Arkansas can compete at a high level both nationally and in the SEC. The new coach has to revive the Arkansas Football program now. If this coach fails, we will have been a low tier program for 10 years and nobody will remember.that we were in the top tier, If we fail now, then the Dari Nokah’s will be right. Arkansas is a low tier team and we should be happy to win a few games a year.


You are describing Norvell in your post… I agree with you!

I think that Norvell would be tha best of the coaches currently identified as possible replacements for CBB. There is always a stealth candidate, but Norvell looks like best option now.


I agree with you Rice. I have posted before that we need a coach that can install an offense similar to Petrino’s. That offense doesn’t have to have numerous 4 & 5 stars. And the rules in college football favor that kind of offense. I believe Norvell can do the job.

Arkansas had NOT won a conference championship since moving to the SEC. We have won 3 division championships however.

I would hope that a divisional title would not be the ceiling for our program. Saban’s run at Alabama is the best ever in the SEC and several of the divisional titles we won were either shared or won because a team was ineligible for the post season.
There is little doubt that Petrino’s last two seasons and the Dmac team that had Gus as OC were the best teams that Arkansas has had since joining the Sec.

Saban cannot coach forever, With the right coach, we always should be competitve. If the Hogs are competitive, eventually we will win the SEC. The man that will give us the best chance to win is Norvell.


One point that you clearly missed is that the only coach that has won on the highest level is J. Frank Broyles. Let’s not forget about him. The rest can be debated. The best coach is fact based on his record. But your post is excellent.

Winning at a high level over a long period of time even with a couple of lulls & rebuilding sprinkled in not winning big then getting back to the top quickly.
Petrino wasn’t here long enough to know if he could do that & Bama is stronger now compared to then, LSU a little weaker now compared to then, but maybe not for long.
HDN got us up there quick with players he inherited then had us close a few times after. Tenn & Florida was at the top then. We could beat Sabans LSU teams then.
Broyles didn’t compete in the new SEC, but had us at the top a lot when the SWC was strong & could rebuild us quickly after a down year or 2.

Now there is Auburn & Georgia racing to the top again.

Need a Coach familiar with these with some guts & grit & dam good DC.