Crossing a Potential Arkansas OC Candidate off List Including 3 Former Head Coaches

Kliff Kingsbury, Dan Mullen, Arkansas football
photo credit: Arizona Cardinals / Florida Athletics

It sounds like you can cross at least one name off the list of potential offensive coordinator candidates for Arkansas football.

During his weekly press conference Tuesday, South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer revealed that he had discussed the opening with Dowell Loggains and indicated his desire is to remain in Columbia, S.C.

“I don’t know what Sam’s plans are out in Arkansas, but I think Dowell’s very happy here,” Beamer told reporters. “Certainly when I saw that news a couple weeks ago with the situation at Arkansas, Dowell and I had some conversations.

“And I know he’s very happy here and his family’s happy here and we are super happy that he’s here, as well. I don’t think there’s anything else to say other than he and I have talked and I’ll keep those conversations between us.”

The question was raised because of Loggains’ ties to the Razorbacks, who are searching for a new offensive coordinator after Dan Enos was fired just eight games into the 2023 season.

A former walk-on quarterback at Arkansas who eventually saw the field as a holder on special teams, Loggains worked his way up the ranks in professional football — serving as an offensive coordinator for the Titans, Bears, Dolphins and Jets — before moving to the college game.

He briefly worked at Penn State as an analyst before his alma mater came calling, leading to him returning to Fayetteville as the Razorbacks’ tight ends coach. He held that role for two seasons, from 2021-22, before getting the opportunity to be the play caller at South Carolina.

While it isn’t known whether or not either side would be interested in reuniting once more, those connections made it a logical possibility until Beamer’s public comments seemingly shot it down Tuesday.

It’s also worth noting that South Carolina has experienced its own growing pains in its first year with a new coordinator. Despite returning quarterback Spencer Rattler, the Gamecocks rank 11th and eighth in the SEC, respectively, in scoring and total offense.

Needing to win its last two games to reach bowl eligibility, South Carolina is averaging only 28.8 points on 393.1 yards per game. The latter of those figures is up from 378.8 last season, but the scoring is down, as the Gamecocks put up 32.2 points per game in 2022.

Possible Requirement for Arkansas’ Next OC?

Sam Pittman’s job security has been a hot topic since Arkansas football was embarrassed by Auburn on Saturday, but as of Wednesday, he still has a job.

While a loss to FIU this week could certainly change that, Pittman appears to be set to return in 2024 — unless the UA opts to fork over the roughly $16.1 million required to fire him.

Assuming he’s back, one of his top priorities will be finding a new offensive coordinator. He hasn’t ruled out wide receivers coach Kenny Guiton getting the full-time gig, but he followed up a great showing at Florida with a clunker against the Tigers. Barring a dramatic turnaround these last two games, he’s probably a long shot.

There has been some talk, including on Pig Trail Nation’s latest “Ask Mike” segment, of Arkansas targeting a former head coach for the role — someone the still relatively inexperienced Pittman could lean on, similar to former defensive coordinator Barry Odom.

One name some have mentioned that’d meet that requirement is Kliff Kingsbury, who was a head coach at Texas Tech from 2013-18 and in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals from 2019-22.

Although currently just an offensive analyst at USC, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s holding out for a head coaching opportunity rather than an offensive coordinator position — a role he hasn’t held since 2012. In fact, he is viewed as a potential candidate to replace Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M.

Speaking of the Aggies, it’s likely their offensive coordinator will be looking for a new job in the wake of Fisher’s firing. That is, of course, Bobby Petrino. Whether or not the UA would — or even could, legally — bring him in as an offensive coordinator remains to be seen, but it might not be a great idea because there’s a segment of the fan base that’d like to see him replace Pittman, not work under him. That could cause unnecessary conflict, especially with Pittman presumably being on the hot seat in 2024.

Another coach whose name came up last offseason after Kendal Briles’ departure was Dan Mullen. He’s another former head coach, with stops at Mississippi State and Florida, and has a reputation for being a quarterback whisperer.

However, like some speculate about Kingsbury, he may only be interested in returning to coaching as a head coach. There has even been some talk of him going back to Starkville, Miss., to lead the Bulldogs, a position he held there from 2009-17.

Recent Arkansas Football OCs

Here’s a rundown of the offensive coordinators for Arkansas football since 2006…

Offensive CoordinatorSeasons
Dan Enos*2023
Kendal Briles2020-22
Joe Craddock2018-19
Dan Enos2015-17
Jim Chaney2013-14
Paul Petrino2012
Garrick McGee2010-11
Paul Petrino2008-09
David Lee2007
Gus Malzahn2006
*Fired after eight games… WR coach Kenny Guiton filled in as the interim offensive coordinator


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