FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas football program has enjoyed plenty of success the past two seasons. But back-to-back 10-win seasons could lead some of Bobby Petrino's assistant coaches to other opportunities.
FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas football program has enjoyed plenty of success the past two seasons. But back-to-back 10-win seasons could lead some of Bobby Petrino’s assistant coaches to other opportunities.
Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee and special teams coordinator John L. Smith appear to be in consideration for head coaching positions at two schools.
McGee, according to the website FAUOwlaccess.com, is having “serious talks” with Florida Atlantic for a position that will be vacated by legendary coach Howard Schnellenberger after the team’s final game Saturday. Smith is a candidate at Weber State, his alma mater, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Neither coach was available for comment regarding the reports Wednesday night.
But it’s no surprise to see McGee’s name connected to a coaching search. The 38-year-old has been working his way into consideration for a head coaching opportunity after his work with the Razorbacks the past four seasons.
McGee, who has spent the past two seasons as Arkansas’ offensive coordinator, interviewed for jobs at Tulsa and Connecticut last winter. McGee didn’t land either position, but received a pay raise from the Razorbacks that bumped his annual salary to $425,000 last January.
FAU, which is in its 11th season as a football program, is 1-10 this season.
Smith is 132-86 in 18 seasons as a head coach at Idaho, Utah State, Louisville and Michigan State. Smith played quarterback and linebacker at Weber State from 1969-71 and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the school.
Petrino worked on Smith’s staff at Idaho, Utah State and Louisville before hiring him in 2009. Smith has worked at Arkansas as special teams coordinator/outside linebackers coach, helping the Razorbacks become one of the most dangerous return teams in the nation this season.
If either coach leaves Arkansas for another opportunity, it would signal the first change to Petrino’s staff in two years. Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino (Illinois) and offensive line coach Mike Summers (Kentucky) left for other jobs after the 2009 season. Defensive ends coach Kirk Botkin was fired by Petrino.