Arkansas' decision to hire John L. Smith to a 10-month contract has drawn mixed reviews from the college football world. One thing is for certain: He knows how to win a press conference.
Smith was introduced as the new Arkansas head coach on Tuesday afternoon live on ESPNU and the Arkansas athletics website, and it immediately became apparent that he was the press conference antithesis of Petrino.
That's a good thing. Petrino was a great coach, but personality at the podium was a trait that he lacked.
How much of a difference will John L. Smith make at Arkansas?
"My role is a [being a] mentor, adviser and final decision-maker," said Smith. He then took it a step further later in the press conference and said, "I let the coordinators call. The only time you question them is when they make a bad call. Then you say, 'that was your call, dummy'."
And with that, Smith ascended to the Les Miles level of quotable SEC coaches.
He then took things a step further.
When he was asked about the opportunity at Arkansas and how he came to his decision to leave Weber State, Smith said, "If there's a door open, walk through it. If there's a window open, jump out of it."
While that's terrible advice, it is press conference gold.
Coaches always win introductory press conferences, but Smith is a breath of fresh air for Arkansas. On the field, it won't be much different. He's paid to be a caretaker, and he knows that. Off the field, he's going to be a lot more fun than his predecessor.