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Georgia's Sam Pittman Hired as Arkansas Head Coach to Replace Chad Morris

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2019

Sam Pittman, Georgia's newly announced offensive line coach for next season, watches a Georgia football practice ahead of the TaxSlayer Bowl game against Penn State, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
David Goldman/Associated Press

The Arkansas Razorbacks stayed inside the SEC to find their new head football coach.

On Sunday, Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek announced the school hired Georgia associate head coach and offensive line coach Sam Pittman as its next head coach:

Hunter Yurachek @HunterYurachek

Excited to OFFICIALLY announce Sam Pittman as our new Head Football Coach. Great days ahead for the Hogs with Sam and Jamie as a part of the Razorback family again! #OneRazorback https://t.co/763JrRrpaR

Chris Low of ESPN.com noted Pittman "is widely viewed as one of the best recruiters and offensive line coaches in the SEC. Several former Arkansas players, some of whom have played in the NFL, have sent letters of support to Arkansas officials expressing support for Pittman."

The position was open because the Razorbacks fired Chad Morris earlier this season. Morris was just 4-18 during his tenure that lasted less than two years.

Pittman was the highest-paid offensive line coach in the country at $900,000 per year, according to Low.

"It's always the nature of the beast," Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said of the possible move, per Low. "You always hear rumors flying around and things coming around, but you never know what's true and what's not. Right now we're focusing on the Sugar Bowl and getting ready for it."

This is something of a homecoming for Pittman, who was the assistant head coach, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator with the Razorbacks from 2013-15 before he took the job at Georgia.

Arkansas went 7-6 and won the Texas Bowl in 2014 and finished 8-5 with a Liberty Bowl win in 2015 when Pittman was on Bret Bielema's staff. Records like that would be a welcome change for the program that is an ugly 8-28 the past three years without a single bowl appearance.

It doesn't make life any easier on the university that Arkansas is in the loaded SEC West and has to compete with the likes of Alabama, Auburn and LSU on an annual basis, but Pittman is at least familiar with the conference. He helped lead the Bulldogs to the last three SEC Championship Games, and his expertise in recruiting should help the Razorbacks turn things around.

Arkansas is 118th in the country in the 2020 recruiting rankings, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

Expect much better recruiting with Pittman leading the way.