Jeff Long sheds light on search for next Arkansas coach
Posted by: Chris Vannini on October 15, 2012
As Arkansas begins to turn around its season a bit, athletic director Jeff Long is still going through the process of finding a head coach for 2013.
The quick-fix hire of John L. Smith didn't work, as the Hogs lost four of their first five games. In an interview with Robbie Neiswanger of Arkansas News, Long shed on a light on where he with the search.
"Just research at this point," Long said. "We've still got 6-7 weeks of the season left. In our world, unlike the business world, you don't just pick out a candidate and go get him. We have some unwritten protocols that you try to follow. They're getting, to be honest with you, blurrier in our profession - what is appropriate and what isn't. But I'm going to try to walk that line and not try to invade or intrude upon a coach coaching a season. That is important to me to do it the right way.
"Certainly there are a number of third parties out there trying to get information to us about those who might be interested and might not be. But we've got to walk a fine line there. It's really just research at this point."
Asked if he wants a coach with head-coaching experience, Long isn't limiting himself to that.
"Well, I will tell you that certainly top assistants are not out of the question," he said. "I think if you just look around our own conference, look at some of the schools with great tradition, great resources, maybe reside in a state with great recruiting, they could have gone out and chose a proven head coach and they ended up with a top-notch coordinator. So I'm certainly not going to limit my head-coaching search to sitting head coaches.
"There are a lot of offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators that may be ready to make that that step like a Bob Stoops did 10-12 years ago when he went from a coordinator Florida to a national championship in two years. There's other examples, but that's one I am somewhat familiar with. There are a lot of examples. The longer answer to your question is: There's a lot of different ways to select a leader. There's a lot of different types of people that can fill this job and be very successful."
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Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com