Head Coaches

My Razorback experience starts with the Frank Broyles era and we have enjoyed ups and downs with our program, so maybe I am spinning the latest hiring decision to fuel my generally optimistic approach to fandom, so here goes. We have had Coaches who were smart (not that some were dumb, with the possible exception of Houston Nutt), some who were strong motivators and a rare few were both. I believe Petrino was very smart, but his interpersonal and motivational style may be his fatal flaw. Nutt was a good motivator, but his ego prevented him from recognizing his lack of real smarts and ultimately led to his downfall. It seems to me that Coach Broyles was one the Coaches who combined intelligence, motivational skills and vision, thus leading to his great success.

I am wondering if these same qualities describe Coach Morris? The road ahead is likely more daunting than the challenges that Coach Broyles faced, although resource wise, Coach Broyles inherited a program that resource wise was trailing the other SWC teams. All this said I hope my assessment of Morris being very similar in total package to the first Coach that led us from the wilderness leads to another journey forward.

If I am not mistaken, the situation my have been worse for Frank. At the time the four private schools (SMU, Rice, Baylor and TCU, less for Baylor) were more powerful as the wealthy grads in each major city used the SWC as a proxy for who among them were the most powerful. Texas was of course on top then as it is now (power wise). Arkansas was a lone outsider. Broyles harnessed the support of the whole state and changed all of that. It was remarkable.

I think Frank probably had a bigger up hill climb at first. Remember also, in the late 1950s the SWC was strong, unlike the latter years.

That is not to saw that Chad is moving into a bed of roses. He has very little SEC talent in a Division that is tough from top to bottom. It is difficult for me to see how he can put an SEC defense on the field next year and even the following year. That is going to take some serious recruiting and the first signing is only 11 days away. I have not even looked at the recruiting board since the SC game since I figured whatever was there did not matter. It does now in a big way.

I realized yesterday that the last two head football coaches have been younger than me.

Getting old I guess.

Frank inherited some talent. There was some ability. He did get pay up for assistants and changed the staff early. One of the big hires was an Arkansas high school coach. Anyone think of that man’s name?

Wilson Matthews

Too easy.

Wilson Matthews from Little Rock Central High School.

JFB won a share of the SWC title in year two. It would be a major miracle for CM to pull off even a division title in year two.

Then again, in 1959, there were seven teams in SWC football (Tech was already a member but did not begin competing for the football title until 1960; Houston didn’t join for football until 1976). Which is exactly the same size as the current SEC West. I think it’s a little tougher than the late-50s SWC was though (that title tie in ‘59 was with Texas and TCU; it was the Frogs’ last conference co-title until 1994).

I’ve thought for a long time that Wilson Matthews was the most important Assistant Coach hire of JFB tenure. Many more went on to be great head coaches in both college and pro ranks but Coach Matthews (from what I’ve read and heard) was the guy that the players feared most. And by fear I mean in a good way.

The Kickstarter for the Broyles’ era.

Mr. Guthrie, how can you say Houston Nutt was dumb? He collected millions from Arkansas and Ole Miss.

Matthews and McKenzie were both important.

Far from dumb. Insecure for sure. He brought a positive initial cultural
tsunami to the Razorback program. It dove-tailed, in part, as a result
of his insecurity and having the ‘father’ figure always present.
In the end, a division took place and the forced on him OC from a local
high school fanned the flame of discord.

His ‘I called that play’ was a trumpet blowing, sadly born of his own
insecurity.

I hope, in time, he will be remembered more for the positive elements he
brought to our program.

I personally think Houston Nutt was too self absorbed to see that hiring Gus was truly the end for him! And yes you could also use dumb to properly describe him for that decision.
Gus better enjoy his contract and get paid all the cash. When Auburn fires him I hope his ends up out west!
As for Coach Morris he is a better man than Gus and I’m proud we have him.
From what I have observed and heard he is a about the team and his conworkers and peers respect him!

I think he knew it was the beginning of the end when he was forced to hire Gus. He get out of it with a truckload of cash.

There is no way it was HDNs choice to hire Gus.

I’ve heard that back then if a player was stopped by the police he was taken to see Wilson Matthews also was said the players had rather go to jail.

[quote=“GentryRzrbk”]
I think he knew it was the beginning of the end when he was forced to hire Gus. He get out of it with a truckload of cash.

There is no way it was HDNs choice to hire Gus.
[/quote]Even if it was his idea to hire St. Gus, you know darned well that HDN NEVER wanted to have any OC other than himself.