First Sign of Hogs Kind of Hedging Their Bet on Pittman Arrives with Fouch

Sam Pittman, Ronnie Fouch, Arkansas football
photo credit: Nick Wenger / Twitter/FBWarriorsECC

About a week after reports first surfaced about his hire, Ronnie Fouch was officially announced as Arkansas’ wide receivers coach Monday afternoon.

Having previously worked with him at Louisville and Missouri State, Fouch is reuniting with the Razorbacks’ new offensive coordinator, Bobby Petrino, in Fayetteville.

The hire fills a void created by the departure Kenny Guiton, who left the staff after three seasons as wide receivers coach to take the same position at Wisconsin. He also served as the interim offensive coordinator over the final four games of 2023 following the in-season firing of Dan Enos.

It’s the third coaching staff hire of the offseason, following Petrino’s return as offensive coordinator and Eric Mateos replacing Cody Kennedy as offensive line coach.

Ronnie Fouch Contract with Arkansas Football

According to a copy of his employment agreement obtained by Best of Arkansas Sports via a Freedom of Information request, Ronnie Fouch has a one-year deal with the Razorbacks that could also be extended for a second year.

He will make $200,000 this season and, if extended, his pay would bump up to $225,000 next season.

Not only is that significantly less than the $340,000 salary of his predecessor, Kenny Guiton, but it makes him the lowest paid of Arkansas’ 10 on-field assistants. In fact, it makes him one of the lowest paid assistants in the SEC.

Last season, Texas A&M defensive assistant Joe Schaefer was the only coach at one of the conference’s 13 public schools with a smaller salary. He made $150,000, according to USA Today’s database, which also doesn’t include salaries of Vanderbilt coaches because it is a private institution and not subject to FOIA laws.

However, it is still a significant raise for Fouch. He made only $69,915 at Missouri State, so his salary will nearly triple with the Razorbacks.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Fouch’s contract, though, is the stipulation that the second year of his deal — which comes with the aforementioned $25,000 raise — is contingent on Sam Pittman still being the head coach on March 1, 2025.

That clause is not included in the contracts of offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino or offensive line coach Eric Mateos, both of whom signed two-year deals this offseason.

It is the first sign of Arkansas sort of hedging its bet on Pittman, as it would not be on the hook for Fouch’s salary in 2025 if Pittman is fired — or retires — before that season.

That’s not like the other assistants. They would be owed the rest of the salary on their contracts, albeit with an offset clause and duty to mitigate by finding another job.

Coaching History of Ronnie Fouch

Like Kenny Guiton, Ronnie Fouch is a former quarterback who played at the Power Five level. He actually started eight games at Washington in 2008, but following three years with the Huskies, he transferred to Indiana State. In two seasons with the Sycamores, Fouch started 22 games and threw for 4,316 yards and 38 touchdowns.

His coaching career started at Georgia State, where he was a graduate assistant from 2013-14, and then he worked as an offensive quality control coach under Bobby Petrino at Louisville from 2015-18.

During the spring of 2019, Fouch got a taste of the professional level by moving into the Alliance of American Football (AAF) as the quarterbacks coach of the Salt Lake Stallions, whose backup quarterback was former Arkansas starter Austin Allen.

That fall, after the AAF folded, he returned to the college ranks at the Division II level, coaching tight ends at Florida Tech. However, that program was shut down because of budget cuts at the school in response to the pandemic.

Petrino threw him a lifeline by hiring him to his first staff at Missouri State. Fouch was initially brought on as the running backs coach, co-special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator for the Bears. He held those roles for three seasons before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator in 2023.

Arkansas Football Salary Pool

Despite the Razorbacks saving $140,000 on their wide receivers coach, they will still be spending more on their assistant coaches in 2024 than they did this past season.

In addition to defensive coordinator Travis Williams receiving an automatic $75,000 raise, Arkansas also brought in a much more expensive offensive coordinator.

Bobby Petrino will make $1.5 million this season, which is $400,000 more than Dan Enos’ salary during his lone season in that role.

Assuming there are no more staff changes and no one else receives a raise, the Razorbacks are set to spend an additional $335,000 on their assistants in 2024.

Their overall assistant salary pool of $6.225 million is a 5.7% increase over last year’s $5.89 million salary pool, but still shy of the UA-record $6.44 million spent in 2022.

Here’s a breakdown of salaries for Arkansas football’s assistant coaches for the upcoming season…

Coach2023 Salary2024 Salary
OC Bobby Petrino$1.1 million*
($1.175 million in ’24)
$1.5 million
DC Travis Williams$1.1 million$1.175 million
Co-DC/DB Marcus Woodson$700,000$700,000
OL Eric Mateos$700,000*$700,000
STC Scott Fountain$515,000$515,000
DL Deke Adams$450,000$450,000
RB Jimmy Smith$360,000$360,000
TE Morgan Turner$325,000$325,000
DB Deron Wilson$300,000$300,000
WR Ronnie Fouch$340,000*$200,000
*2023 salary of predecessor

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Listen to Ronnie Fouch’s first interview since being hired as the new wide receivers coach for Arkansas football:

More coverage of Arkansas football from BoAS…

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