Fayetteville, AR (Sports Network) - The University of Arkansas has hired John
L. Smith as its head football coach.
Smith signed a 10-month letter of agreement with a compensation package of
$850,000. Smith will also be eligible for performance and academic achievement
The 63-year-old Smith had spent the last three seasons as special teams coach
for the Razorbacks. He was hired as the head coach at his alma mater, Weber
State, last December.
"I am extremely pleased to welcome Coach John L. Smith back to the Razorback
program as our new head football coach," director of athletics Jeff Long said.
"Coach Smith brings a wealth of football knowledge, BCS conference head
coaching experience, passion for the game and a close familiarity with the
current team and coaching staff. I firmly believe that his selection is in the
best interests of the young men in our program and will also best serve the
mission of our football program and university in achieving success on and off
the field in the upcoming season and in the long term."
Arkansas was in need of a head coach after getting rid of Bobby Petrino on
April 10. Petrino was fired due to the aftermath of his motorcycle accident on
April 1. A female employee of the Arkansas athletic department, Jessica
Dorrell, was as a passenger on the motorcycle and it was later revealed that
Petrino was having an affair with her.
Smith has had head coaching stints at Idaho, Utah State, Louisville, Michigan
State and Weber State. He has produced a 132-86 overall record to go with six
conference champions (two Conference USA, two Big West and two Big Sky).
"I am tremendously excited to have this special opportunity to return to
Arkansas and lead the Razorback football program," Smith said. "During my
coaching career, I have always been dedicated to developing student-athletes
to their fullest potential. In the last couple of weeks, I came to the
realization I could provide guidance and stability to a program I'm extremely
invested in. While at Arkansas, we worked to make the Razorbacks a top 5 team
and much of the credit for that goes to the student-athletes. Throughout the
spring, the assistant coaches and student-athletes have shown incredible focus
and character, which we will use to build on as we work to achieve our goals
for 2012. I want to thank President (Donald) Bobbitt, Chancellor (David)
Gearhart and Jeff Long for the trust they have shown in me."
The Sports Network