Sam Pittman question for insiders??

Would he have ever been at UA if Chaney was not our OC? Sure seems like after Chaney was fired possibly he was angry and wasn’t as involved in recruiting good OL? Could that be a coincidence or a real possibility?

Pittman and Chaney are/were a package deal. When fan unrest and Bielema displeasure with Chaney manifested itself and he was let go Pittman was pissed off. He did not sign his contract that would’ve included the non compete within the SEC. So, after Kirby Smart struck out on hiring Dan Enos due to the SEC non-compete, he hired Chaney.

During that year Pittman did not recruit much. He did put a ton of time, effort and energy into Garrett Bolles (1st round pick of the Broncos) however the young man chose to stay out west at Utah (think he is Mormon.) To say he had others in the pipeline, well, proof is on the current roster.

While Pittman did hit on Kirkland and Skipper, he wiffed on Reve Koehler. He is a great coach.

He also hit on Tretola and turned Brey Cook and Mitch Smothers from disappointments into very good SEC linemen that we could desperately use today. I would take him back in a minute. We have not been the same since.
That was great staff that CBB brought in in year one. Each one that left left a hole that never really was filled.

The big difference with Pittman was he was fired up on the sidelines during games and he was always training, teaching and coaching. He would chew rear ended when needed. He could coach a kid up!
We may not see another O line coach like him for a while.

Whatever became of Markuson? He did a good job while he was here.

Couple things here… First Sam Pittman made a remark that Jim Chaney called him and said “you know you want to get out of that place”… Now I don’t know what that means but it always stuck with me. Also the action of our coach bringing all the OL to his house to try and emotionally beat him up, I don’t think that sat well with Sam Pittman.

I agree that the First staff that was hired was strong. We have had mixed results since… Maybe some of the actions of our head coach are the reason.

Hired by CBB at Wisconsin. Fired after about 2-3 games.
I think he ended up in MN.

Markuson is now on the staff of Hamilton in the CFL.

Pittman also signed Frank Ragnow. I’ll never forget Frank telling me Pittman walked up to him in the hallway at his high school and just looked at him face to face. They could not talk. It would have had to be a bump meeting. Pittman could watch him play basketball and talk to coaches and teachers. All checked out great for Frank, including the face to face. That was the rule per that period in the recruiting process. No talking to the recruit face to face. You could look at him.

Pittman said, “I just wanted to size him up. His weight concerned me. He was somewhere around 255 to 260. I wanted to see how his bone structure was and if he could hold more pounds. He could. I knew he’d quickly be a 300-pounder as soon as he quit playing basketball. He was a big, strong boy, but all of that running kept him from putting on true football weight. He’d get it when he wasn’t doing all that basketball running.”

As for Chaney and Pittman, they were extremely close. After the Texas Bowl game when it was clear to me that Chaney was about to leave, I was on the field well after the game when Chaney got down from the press box. I was going to talk to Chaney. I was particularly close to Jim. I periodically tied flies to give him for his annual Wyoming trip. (His wife’s family has a cabin in the Wind Mountain Range, a beautiful area to go dry fly fishing.) I saw Chaney coming, but Pittman intercepted him. They bear hugged and rocked back and forth. Both men told each other, “I love you.” It went on for a bit. Finally, Chaney turned to me, He said, “I don’t love you as much, but I love you, too.” It was pretty clear to me that he was gone. I thought Pittman would probably not leave, but I knew they were close enough that he might leave to follow Chaney. They were smooth in the way they worked together. I know they disagreed at times, but not much. I’d ask them the same questions two days apart and get the same answers. That doesn’t always happen.

Chaney was brilliant. I mean really smart. His mind was rich. He didn’t have much patience for those who could not keep up with him IQ wise. There were times that I felt he was testing me with our conversations. You better keep up. It was wit against wit. Of course, he knew he couldn’t keep up with me on fly fishing talk. And, he tried. He was learning. And man did he want to learn. He was always trying to learn something about almost anything.

I tied some flies for Mark Powell to give Chaney when Chaney came in to work out Taylor Powell when Georgia was recruiting the Fayetteville QB. Mark is one of my fly fishing friends. Mark handed them to Jim. Jim said, “These are from Clay? They don’t work.” He threw down the package and walked away. He looked back to see what Mark had done. Mark was laughing. He said, “Jim, if you don’t want them, I want them.” Jim walked quickly to them and picked them up. He said, “I wasn’t going to leave without them.”

I’m aware of what happened at Wisconsin with Markuson. Let me say I think I know the intimate details. Some of it was difference in opinions on coaching technique between players and the coach. Some of it was off-the-field issues with Markuson. At any rate, Bret wanted to fire him and Alvarez backed it. Markuson had worked previously with Alvarez.

I went to a baseball game and sat in a box with Bielema’s staff right after they had all been hired. Jim Chaney and I sat outside and talked about investments/interest rates/mortgages/etc for an hour. Very intelligent guy. All the while, Bret was getting hammered and generally making an a$$ of himself. Spent a lot of time talking with Michael Smith, Charlie Partridge, and Pittman as well.

I wrote each of them a handwritten note after that, Chaney emailed me back and thanked me for the conversation, Michael Smith texted me and wanted to know where I got my sportscoat! And then Charlie Partridge wrote me back a handwritten response and had remembered the details of our conversation, including my kids’ names and ages. Charlie was impressive. If I was building a staff from scratch, he’d be my first phone call.

Charlie Partridge invited me to go deep sea fishing near West Palm. He said you can leave those little flies at home. We will be going after big fish – marlin, etc. He texted me after he’d left and said the offer still stood. He said, “You get there, anytime, and I’ll set you up. If I’m there, I’ll take you. But I don’t have to be there. My guys will take good care of you. On me.”

That’s interesting. I’ve long heard rumors around town about Bret and his drinking. If true, he’s not the great guy everyone makes him out to be, seems that he can be an egotistical A–hole.

I wouldn’t know personally, but maybe you could elaborate on this experience, seeing that I’ve also heard similar.

I am not a guy who is out on the town in Fayetteville. Ever. So I’m the wrong guy to ask. Not my deal. It hasn’t ever been my place and it won’t ever be. I just don’t do that. I’m at home. My experience on Bret is that he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever been around. I don’t go out with him. But I would guess that it would be a good experience. I go to Herman’s to eat dinner about once a month. I’ll see coaches there from time to time, but not often. All have been nice to me.

This was right in the beginning after he was hired. He was partying pretty hard, got pulled over as the passenger in a car where there was drinking going on. Long had to have a little come to Jesus meeting with him early on. I think that part of him has mellowed, wife, kid, not winning as much. All good reasons to not be seen out partying.

Yeah that’s somewhat along the lines of what I’ve heard.

I wasn’t real interested in partying in my 40’s, that’s pretty odd to me personally.

Well inquiring minds want to know, where did you get the sports coat?