I don’t doubt that it is a great hire. However, in my opinion, it will not make much difference for the next few years. No matter how great the coach, he can’t win much without SEC caliber players. That we no longer have and will not have for the next several years at best and likely longer.
First, several players have transferred or made known they are going to transfer, including the highest ranked players recruited the last two years. Second, when you factor in an injury, the best players from Arkansas are leaving the state for the current year, 2017, and the out-of-state player is not highly rated. And, next year the best player from Arkansas for year2018 has made it clear, she is leaving the state. Therefore, for 2017 and 2018, recruiting will be at the bottom of the SEC.
Third, for the year 2016-2017 Arkansas ranked 57 in average attendance. That is 3rd from the bottom in the SEC. And, good players will choose teams with a larger fan base. However, with a lot of luck, by 2020, we might start recruiting quality players, If so by 2022, we may start winning our share of the SEC games. Since I don’t expect a coach to create miracles. I have almost no hope of Arkansas having a winning season before then.
I know it looks bleak right now and for the foreseeable future. It might be possible, though, that he can talk a few of those who plan to transfer to stay. He will have to do a great recruiting job, either way, to win any time soon. The good news is two or three key recruits along with some solid players can go a long way. Remember the Triplets on the men’s side along with Schall and Counce went a long way in 1978. Who knows, but I understand the reason for being less than optimistic at this point.
About 35 years ago, I had (unknown at the time) the pleasure of playing golf with this young man. His mother worked with my mother. I was about 22 years old and he was about 12. I had just finished college and was living at home getting ready to attend graduate school at the U of A. Anyway, my mother said that he wanted to play a particular golf course that he had heard good things about and we were members. So, my mother being the accommodating type, ordered me and my dad to take him and his granddad out for 9 holes. Anyway, this kid wreaked of “coach” at the age of 12. He talked about the fundamentals of the golf swing and he studied guys like Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus. He would even say things like: “you will never see Jack Nicklaus pronate his wrists through the hitting area.” I distinctly remember how meticulous he was when it came to his set up and pre-shot routine. He would ask me about my grip and stance. Most kids that age could care less about the fundamentals of anything. That is why I am sure that if he can attract talent, he can coach them up but it is going to take time. The best news is that he wants to be here and has that Razorback passion to succeed. This is not just another job for him. He needs time and support and I am going to do something I have never done and go see the Razorback women’s team next year.