Arkansas will not bring back Smith

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


Arkansas coach John L. Smith will no longer lead the team, the school announced in a statement Saturday.
Athletic director Jeff Long told Smith he would not be brought back to lead the Razorbacks next season and that the school plans to name a new coach within 10 days.
Arkansas finished the season 4-8 after losing to LSU 20-13 on Friday.
Smith was hired on a 10-month contract in April after the firing of
Bobby Petrino. Smith, who coached at Michigan State and Louisville, will be reassigned as a consultant through the end of his contract in late February.
"I have great respect for coach Smith, and I thank him for the sincere commitment he has shown our program," Long said in the statement. "He made a difficult decision in uncertain times to return from his alma mater to guide the young men in our football program, and I will always be grateful for his efforts."
Arkansas began the season ranked in the top 10 nationally, but fell out of the rankings early and went 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference.
"I have enjoyed guiding this group, and I am extremely proud of how everyone in our program stuck together and showed tremendous character by competing throughout the season," Smith said in a statement. "Everyone on our staff has my appreciation as they all believed in our goals and stayed committed to the development of these young men."
Smith, 64, was an assistant under Petrino for three years. He left to coach at Weber State, his alma mater. However, he quickly left Weber State to take over at Arkansas when Petrino was fired for hiring his mistress for a job in the athletic department and lying about her presence during their motorcycle accident.
Long said all of the assistant coaches have the option of remaining with the team pending the hiring of the new coach.
"Our new coach will be an individual who shares the passion for success our fans do, and who is willing to work relentlessly to achieve our goals," Long said.
Arkansas went to bowl games two straight years and finished No. 5 at the end of the 2011 season.