I keep hearing people express the opinion that we need an
AD and Coach with Arkansas ties. Why? I know many may
consider that a foolish question, but to me that is just limiting
your options. The greatest AD we ever had is Frank Broyles,
tell me again about his Arkansas ties… didn’t have any did he.
The greatest coach we ever had (aside from JFB since I covered
him as an AD) would that be Lou Holtz… what kind of Arkansas
ties did he have… thats right, none.
Just saying, why put limits on your choices. If I was to tell you,
“You can only recruit players from or with Arkansas ties.” Many
on here would have a screaming fit that we have to have a strong
presence in Texas or you can’t win.
I have a sneaking feeling what people are really meaning when they
say “Arkansas Ties” is more like the fact that they are tied to some of
the “Powers That Be” so those said powers have more control over
things like games in Little Rock, Parking Passes, Ticket Pricing, etc. Now
granted, that control is more AD oriented than Coach oriented, but
I think you see what I’m saying in that regard.
Just saying it seems foolish to restrict ourselves and limit our options.
I don’t think anyone has said that is one of the requirements. It is something that would be nice. Someone who fits, and that might mean they understand this area, the south or the SEC. I think understanding it might be important. Do we want to spend three or four years waiting for them to learn Arkansas, the SEC and the way things are done in this part of the country? The last thing I want is to be about three years into the process and thinking, this is not a fit? Make sure it’s a fit.
Bottom line, do a national search. Make sure Arkansas is included in the national search.
Clay, I didn’t mean to imply that knowing the SEC and the south should not be a main
requirement. I think that and fit are most important. Just keep seeing people talking
about someone with ties to Arkansas and that seems a bit restrictive on our pool of
candidates. I want someone that the best fit for us, regardless if he is from Timbuktu
or Toad Suck Arkansas.
I’m the one that put up an entire thread on coaches with Arkansas ties. But…my thing isn’t that they must have thoese ties. I was just speculating on whether the search committee will make that a desired trait. They seemed to do that last time…as the final two were Nutt and TT.
I agree with Clay. A national search is a must. But if we as a fanbase and they as the UA brass aren’t willing to be patient BEYOND 5 years, then we need someone with recruiting ties to Arkansas and Texas, and preferably Louisiana and Tulsa…otherwise it takes a person awhile to develop them. Bret faced that problem if you ask me. He didn’t have those ties. AND some of those waters had been poisoned by the shenanigans in the previous years. he had a lot to rebuild.
There are no less than three strong candidates with Arkansas ties that I think could recruit well from day one. Those are the three I spoke of. Gus. Strong. Possibly Norvell.
I think the concern is/was with JL is was too distant from Ark ties. JL increased the admin budget and brought in a lot of Assoc AD’s on his team but I was told 13 of his 14 closest associates were from outside of Ark with no ties to Ark. I was also told that the BOT had a list of concerns about JL they presented to the Chancellor (they didn’t act on them and fired him for convenience so the list will not be known)…but one of the concerns was that JL was building his own little kingdom…he was AD for men and women sports, the Foundation reported to him, kept adding layers of associates that insulated him from fans and , the fear was, would eventually insulate him from the PTB at the UA and make him unaccountable…FWIW
The strength of understanding and knowing Arkansas is self-evident in my mind.
Change can be good, some times change is necessary. Some times new blood can help revitalize an organization and produce positive results.
But there are unique things about Arkansas — just as there are to all universities – and there are decades of success in Arkansas athletics. It’s not like Arkansas athletics has been a failure now for 50 plus years. The model is there, and it has worked and worked well. To throw all that out and hand the reins to a complete stranger is just not necessary – nor is it helpful.
D 1 athletic departments depend heavily on private donations – those come from Arkansas people. Arkansas is a state where personal relationships matter more than anything else in business and politics. In fact, often times, personal relationships will carry the day in a dispute or tough decision. A complete stranger from some place far, far away is going to have a very hard time navigating those waters – until s/he’s been here for several years. Why wait for years for a stranger to build those relationships and trust, when Arkansas can hire an AD who can hit the ground running?