Georgia Bulldogs offensive line coach Sam Pittman, the effective and popular Arkansas offensive line coach for Bret Bielema from 2013-2015, is the Razorbacks’ new head football coach, Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek announced Sunday evening on Twitter.

Georgia Bulldogs offensive line coach Sam Pittman, the effective and popular Arkansas  offensive line coach for Bret Bielema from 2013-2015, is the Razorbacks’ new head football coach, Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek announced Sunday evening on Twitter.

“Excited to OFFICIALLY announce Sam Pittman as our new Head Football Coach,” Yurachek tweeted.  “Great days ahead for the Hogs with Sam and (wife) Jamie as part of the Razorback family again.” At 6:15 p.m, Sunday. the UA issued an official press release announcing Pittman’s hiring and quoting Yurachek at length. “Sam Pittman has been an integral part of successful teams that have competed at the highest levels, including for SEC and NCAA Championships,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “As one of the nation’s premier offensive line coaches, he has built a remarkable body of work thanks to his tremendous passion for his student-athletes, including teaching the fundamentals and developing his players on and off the field. Sam instills in his players the motivation, grit and determination required to compete and win. Throughout this process, I heard from many of his former players about the tremendous influence he had on them as a player and as a man.” Three, Travis Swanson, Frank Ragnow and Sebastian Tretola, earned All-American with Pittman’s coaching on their Arkansas resume. “There is without a doubt in my mind that @CoachSamPittman is the perfect fit for @RazorbackFB,” Swanson posted Sunday on Twitter. “The best recruiter in the country and the best coach in the country.” Because Pittman has not been a major  college head coach or coordinator, his name seldom had been included among those reported to be in Yurachek’s considerations to replace Chad Morris, fired Nov. 10 with a 2-8 overall, 0-6 SEC record for 2019 after a 2-10, 0-8 Arkansas debut in 2018. However Pittman’s Arkansas’ accomplishments using senior Swanson in 2013 to build an offensive line practically from scratch with true freshmen Dan Skipper and Denver Kirkland as starters prompted Alabama coach Nick Saban trying to hire him. Pittman  remained at Arkansas until parting company with Bielema following the 2015 season. Under  Georgia coach Kirby Smart, Pittman rejoined working with  offensive coordinator and longtime friend  Jim Chaney. Chaney was the  offensive coordinator and  Pittman the offensive  line coach at Tennessee  before coming together to Arkansas as Bielema’s Arkansas offensive coordinator and offensive line coach  in 2013 and 2014. Pittman stayed one Arkansas year with then new offensive coordinator Dan Enos before going to Georgia. Arkansas’ O-line declined in Bielema’s final two seasons and Morris’ two seasons.  Meanwhile Georgia has won three SEC East titles and one SEC championship and played in one national championship game during Pittman’s tenure under Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart.  The 12-2 Bulldogs are scheduled to play Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. Pittman’s experience arriving as Bielema’s line coach in the throes of Arkansas’ 4-8 crash and burn 2012 under interim coach John L. Smith in the Bobby Petrino era aftermath, and building an offensive line from a 3-9, 0-8 in the SEC 2013 to 7-6, 2-6  with a Texas Bowl victory over Texas and 8-5, 5-3 overall and Liberty Bowl victory over Georgia seasons in 2014 and 2015 before moving on to Georgia attracted third-year Arkansas athletic director Yurachek’s attention. So did his extensive experience recruiting and coaching in the SEC. ““Sam knows the Southeastern Conference inside and out and is one of the nation’s best recruiters,” Yurachek said in Sunday night’s press release.  “His connections throughout football will enable him to build a quality coaching staff. In his previous tenure, Sam and his wife Jamie fell in love with the state of Arkansas and with Razorback fans. They know what a special place this is and are excited for the opportunity to come back to the Home of the Razorbacks.“ Barry Lunney Jr., Arkansas’ tight ends coach since 2013 and the interim coach completing Arkansas’ 2-10, 0-8 season with 56-20 and 24-14 losses  stuck playing nationally No. 1 SEC champion LSU in Baton Rouge, La.  and taking a team depleted by injuries and a mumps outbreak vs. Missouri in Little Rock, and Pittman worked together for three Arkansas seasons. It seems likely that Fort Smith native and 1992-1995 Razorbacks quarterback Lunney would be an Arkansas connection that Pittman would want to keep. While not an Arkansan, Pittman, 58,  has extensive familiarity  to the region hailing from nearby Grove, Okla. and playing his college football at Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kan.  Pittman was a head high school coach in 1987 and 1988 at Princeton, Mo. and 1989 and ’90 at Trenton, Mo. then coached offensive line in 1991 at Hutchinson, (Kan.) Community College. He was elevated to Hutchinson  head coach at 1992 and 1993 before coaching major college offensive lines.  From 1994 to 2019 Pittman has coached offensive lines at Northern Illinois, Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Western Michigan, Missouri, Kansas,  Northern Illinois again, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Georgia.