Sam Pittman / Courtesy, ArkansasRazorbacks.com
The Arkansas Razorbacks’ new head football coach has plenty of SEC experience, is an excellent recruiter, and is known for inspiring players to play with heart and passion, but his only head coaching experience came from 1992-93 on the junior college level.
The Razorbacks are expected to officially announce Sam Pittman as their next head coach in a news conference on Monday.
Pittman, who just completed a four-year tenure as the Georgia Bulldogs’ associate head coach and offensive line coach, is a familiar face to Razorback fans. He coached the Razorbacks’ offensive line and served as Bret Bielema’s assistant head coach from 2013-2015.
Pittman recruited and coached Arkansas offensive line stalwarts such as Denver Kirkland, Frank Ragnow, Dan Skipper, Sebastian Tretola during his three-year tenure with the Razorbacks. All spent some time in the NFL following their career with the Hogs.
Known and respected as one of the best offensive line coaches and recruiters in the business, Pittman, 58, has extensive experience on the college level. He was assistant head coach at Northern Illinois (2004-06) and Arkansas (2013-15). He was associate head coach at North Carolina (2011) and Georgia (2019). Pittman has coached the offensive line at Northern Illinois (1994-95, 2003-06), Cincinnati (1996), Oklahoma (1997-98), Western Michigan (1999), Missouri (2000), Kansas (2001), North Carolina (2007-11) and Tennessee (2012).
Pittman has sent eight offensive lineman to the NFL since 2013, including Travis Swanson, Ragnow, and Tretola. Kirkland and Skipper also signed free-agent contracts in the league.
Pittman served as the head coach at Hutchinson Junior College with a 5-4-1 team in 1992 and a 6-5 squad in 1993 before moving on to Northern Illinois.
After Arkansas fired Chad Morris as its head coach following its 45-19 loss to Western Kentucky on Nov. 9, a group of former Razorback players sent an open letter via hogsports.com to UA athletics director Hunter Yurachek, UA Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz, and the UA Board of Trustees that supported Arkansas hiring Pittman as head coach.
Pittman is expected to be able to assemble a strong staff based on his personality and wide network of coaching ties through his various stops during his career.
Along with assembling a staff, Pittman will be charged with salvaging the 2019-2020 recruiting class with just one week of work before the Dec. 16-Jan.16 dead period and the Dec. 18-20 early national signing period. While another signing period begins Feb. 5, 2020, most players are now signing during the early period.