-by Tommy Foltz
It appears we’re soaring to either to some real success, or some real mediocrity, in the coaching search.
A jet owned by a UA board trustee has been tracked crisscrossing the nation this week, stopping near the homes of Hog coach candidates. Apparently, as Razorback broadcaster Chuck Barrett would say, “this is all being brought to you in part by” Edward Fryer Jr., a recent UA Board of Trustee appointee.
I don’t know if the University must reimburse him, but we like that he’s giving up his jet to help the Hogs land a coach. (We also thank Chuck for his top notch play-by-play commentary as we struggle through this occasionally un-televised part of the Hogs undefeated basketball season so far).
I hope when that jet finally lands for good, we’ll have a quality coach walking on to the tarmac to get hired by Hunter Yurachek.
Recent reporting by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette shows the below stable of coaches in the starting gate. A number of them have Arkansas ties, which means they’ll be comfortable with the Arkansas way of life if one of them gets the job.
That’s a good thing.
—He’s been at Appalachian State for one year and is 11-1. He’s 36. If he can replicate that at Arkansas, I’d like to have drink witz him. He graduated from Alma High School and Arkansas Tech. He’s probably been to Whataburger a time or two. He knows our culture, but he coaches in the Sun Belt. But hey, you gotta start somewhere…….
Here’s a good 5 News breakdown of what Drinkwitz brings to the table:
—Currently at Tulane and apparently his dream job is Missouri. He’s 59, and has a 22-27 record in 4 years at Tulane. 6-6 this year. More power to ya, MIZZOU!!!!!!!
—Yes, Leach has agreed in principle to a one-year contract extension through the 2024 season with Washington State. The two sides are picking up the rollover clause in his contract. There’s still a small chance things could fall apart and he’d leave.
—And hey, who am I to pretend to know more than his supporters, Barry Switzer or Clint Stoerner? I revere both of those guys for what they’ve done in football. I was just an All-State kicker who never played a down after high school. Anyway, Leach is 58. Took TTU to 10 bowl games in 10 years, but he’s 55-46 at Washington State and 6-6 this year. That pales in comparison to his time at Texas Tech.
—Also, he blew a gasket over the weekend at his post-game presser (not the first time) and he locked Craig James’s son in an equipment room for not practicing because he was on what we now call “concussion protocol”. Don’t want him. I still consider him a Big 12 guy, and they don’t play defense there, which is an absolute requirement in the SEC.
— 37-15 at Memphis. Not a great record overall, but he’s 11-1 right now, 8-5 in 2016; 10-3 in 2017; 8-6 in 2018; 37-15 in 4 years at Memphis, has lost every bowl game he’s played in. Three for three is unimpressive. But you can’t get a candidate who checks all the boxes.
—STILL, WE WANT THIS GUY!!!
—Born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma
—Currently the coach at Florida International
—As Bill Self is to Arkansas basketball coaching searches, Davis is to new Hog football coach searches. Always mentioned, but never works out
—The difference is that Self has had huge success coaching the Kansas Jayhawks while Davis has coached at too many colleges and pro football organizations to list here
—He falls out of a good coaching tree (Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson)
—But Switzer is touting Mike Leach
—Currently coaches at Virginia Tech
—33-19 at Va Tech
—In 2016 he was 10-4 at VA Tech; ’17 he was 9-4; ’18 he was 6-7; he finished 8-4 this year
—Not bad…..at all!!
—Currently coaches Iowa State.
—He’s won 26 games out of 50 (that’s 24 losses against 26 wins)
—No defense Big 12
—Just signed a contract extension to 2025
—Not really sure why we’d hire a guy from the Big 12 who’s just barely over .500
—Out! No thank you!!!!
—Currently at Boise State
—62-16 overall, 11-1 this year
—Has won 3 out of 4 bowl games
—Impressive, but he’s done it in the Mountain West
—Boise native; Boise State alum. I really doubt he’s coming here even though he coached A-State for a year
The fact that we’re considering some of these guys who barely have a record above .500 shows you where we are as a program. It’s not good and it won’t get better if we don’t hire someone who is young and has a way record much better than .500.
That’s Mike Norvell. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
What about Lane Kiffin? Here’s the lates from the Florida Atlantic coach, who apparently was visited by UA plane last Saturday:
We’ve covered plenty of the good and bad around his potential hire:
Next Hogs Coach Warning: Lane Kiffin as a “Divorced Bobby Petrino”
Lane Kiffin: No. 7 Best Hogs Coach Candidate