Realistic Coaching Candidates

So lets talk realistic replacements for Bielema. Please no Clay Heltons or getting Bob Stoops to come outta retirement. Don’t mention Chip Kelly because he ain’t comin… No Gruden!

Current Head Coaches:

Mike Norvell - Memphis
• He is from Texas and played college ball at UCA
• Has a high powered/high scoring offense and solid attacking defense
• Coaching Tree: Malzahn and Todd Grahm at Tulsa, Graham at Pittsburgh and Ariz State

Neal Brown - Troy
• From Kentucky, played WR at Kentucky
• Has a high powered/high scoring offense and solid defense (currently best in conference)
• Coaching Tree: Played for Tony Franklin and Mike Leach at Kentucky. Coached with Larry Blakeney at Troy,
Tubberville at Texas Tech, Mark Stoops at Kentucky.

If we go Coordinator :

Brent Venables - DC Clemson
• Kansas native, played at Kansas State
• Has a solid attacking defense that held Bama to 31pts in NC game. Broyles Award Winner.
• Coaching Tree: Played for and began coaching with Bill Snyder at K State, Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, Dabo Sweeney at Clemson.

Jake Spavital - OC/QB coach West Virginia
• Tulsa native, played at Missouri State
• Runs a high scoring Air Raid Offense
• Coaching Tree: Started his coaching career with Malzahn at Tulsa, Kevin Sumlin and Dana Holgerson at Houston, followed Holgerson to OK State and Mike Gundy, followed Holgerson to West Virginia, Sumlin again at Texas A&M where he coached Manzel, returned to West Virginia

Who would you like to have take over the program?

I’d like to see you get it. We would be awesome then.

Thanks buddy! You get right on that…ok pumpkin.

Malzahn, Lane Kiffin

Mmmmm…they are both polarizing figures. I would pick Malzahn except he used the Springdale 5 and political dealings at the UA to further his career. I still believe if Nutt had stayed out of it we would have been in the NC convo in 2007 because he was just that good of an OC. I really liked the offense he used at Arkansas.

Everybody has to start somewhere. No one is expected to stay at their first job forever, especially when Malzahn was not allowed to run his system exactly how he wanted.

Darren McFadden and a host of hogs made that offense possible. It’s not Gus.
What everyone fails to realize is Gus could care less about the Hogs. He used the Hogs to acquire personal gain. He is not loyal to anyone or anything but himself.

Malzahn isn’t leaving Auburn for Arkansas. He just beat the top ranked team in the country today!

Did you read the first part of my post? I effectively said the same thing about Malzahn.

Agreed…so who ya got? Do you think Chad Morris would be good?

Chad Morris is relatively young which can be good in recruiting but in my opinion is still pretty unproven.

This guy is kinda crazy and I don’t think he would come to Arkansas but Mike Leach has done a lot with not much wherever he has gone.

Morris is 48 (I think) he got into “big time coaching” late but his years of HS coaching in TX would be a huge plus for us in recruiting. From what I’ve heard the HS coaches there love him. SMU has IIRC an all Texas roster.

And I like the Pirate King but from what I’ve heard he loves Pullman and isn’t looking to leave.

If and when the U of A begins a search for a new Head Football Coach, I believe they need to look for someone that has HC experience more than a Coordinator.
Having said that, I also believe they need to find a guy that will bring a passion for recruiting so that we can climb from the bottom 3rd of the SEC in that area.
He needs to have tentacles to the south in order to make those recruiting strides.

We would be probably 1 of 5 SEC job openings along with Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas A&M. Where does our job land in the minds of possible candidates? Probably behind 3 of those and ahead of Ole Miss.


Charlie Strong
Mike Leach
Neal Brown
Mike Norvell
Chad Morris
Seth Littrell

We aren’t going to get Scott Frost, Matt Campbell.
Don’t think we would want Lane Kiffin.
The Gruden’s and Chip Kelly’s aren’t going to be interested.

So, if and when we have a HC opening I hope those entrusted to fill this position will make a sound decision and have full faith in the direction this program needs to go in order to turn things around.


Littrell is a name I haven’t heard brought up. Oklahoma native Good coaching tree, Leech, Bob Stoops Mike Stoops, Fedora. He has the Mean Green rolling in his second year. That is an intriguing name to add to the mix.

Venables is a great pick. Hope Bill Snyder doesn’t retire at K-State, if he does that’s their man.Look for coaches who have at least three years of success in a major conference, as a head coach or coordinator. Be careful with the hottest young coach out there.

I’ve heard he might be a viable candidate. Maybe even the first option.

Personally, I can’t see him leaving Auburn to come back to Arkansas.

I could see Venables to KState…I could also see Bielema leaving Arkansas for KState and that might be the reason he is still here, there is already something like that planned.

Venables has been quoted before that he is not interested in being a head coach, and that he values his family time more than anything. His son is a commit to play linebacker at Clemson. Don’t see him leaving Clemson. Not to mention he has no previous head coaching experience. We cannot afford any experiments. Personally, I would like for Arkansas to go after someone who runs a spread option offense. Not only will it be different than all the pass happy teams in the league, but it also fits the talent we have offensively now, especially if we can find a dual threat guy.

Venables may be a Bud Foster…great coordinator who will never be a HC. Venables interviewd for the Arkansas job in 2012 and a bunch of others.

I would rather have an Air Raid over a Spread Option (updated wishbone) offense. We always go conservative and Im tired of it.

If I’m looking for a head coach we have to consider the staff he could build around him. And that coach or staff has to be able to recruit Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Sustained success in Fayetteville will be a byproduct of effectively recruiting these four states. We also need to recruit Missouri, Kansas, and eastern Tennessee’s top talent and supplement with a few every class from other states.

Here’s my list:

Nick Saban - tell him he needs a challenge to prove his greatness. (this is obviously a joke)

Gus Malzahn - if he’s let go by Auburn which won’t happen since they beat GA… and I think there are deep BOT and donor objectors plus he’s probably too polarizing among the fan base to be hired (Arkansas and contacts from Alabama, Georgia, Florida)

Brent Venables - current coordinator at Clemson but will he leave to run a program. One poster said he doesn’t want to be a HC because of the extra time it would take away from his family… plus his son is committed to play for Clemson (Oklahoma ties)

Matt Campbell - he’s winning at Iowa State… but an extremely hot commodity right now and likely goes somewhere more suite to winning. (??? can he recruit to Arkansas???)

Scott Frost - ucf head coach with top offensive numbers and another hot commodity. If Florida doesn’t hire him then I’d expect him to go Tennessee or Nebraska before coming here. (??? can he recruit to Arkansas???)

Mario Christobal - top recruiter for Alabama and currently offensive coordinator and o line coach at Oregon. Was FIU head coach before going to Alabama. (??? can he recruit to Arkansas???)

Charlie Strong - Arkansas roots and good recruiter. He has ties in Arkansas, Texas, and Florida.

Chad Morris - head coach currently at SMU who I don’t think is a good fit although he does have deep roots in Texas for recruiting

Mike Norvell - Memphis head coach who may be a product of Fuente … (Arkansas and Oklahoma maybe??)

and my “what abouts”:

Rhett Lashlee - Offensive mind… should be able to recruit Arkansas and the south fairly well but who could he bring on as his staff … honestly I’d probably rather hire him than Norvell and maybe Morris

Barry Lunney Jr. - He’s been the only part of the staff who has produced consistent results and could recruit Arkansas and bring his dad in to help if needed

Rick Jones - he’d be able to recruit Arkansas and can coach according to what he’s done in Greenwood… but would likely have to be paid less than the assistants he’d have to hire (this is a joke too)