Five realistic candidates for the Arkansas opening

Woody Wommack, Recruiting Analyst
Rivals Articles
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Arkansas parted ways with head coach Chad Morris on Sunday, ending his tenure after less than two seasons. Morris, who hoped to rebuild the program after being hired away from SMU at the end of 2017, failed to win a conference game and finished his Razorbacks career with an 4-18 overall record, including a seven-game losing streak that included loses to San Jose State and Western Kentucky this season. So where to the Hogs turn now? He’s a look at five potential candidates to keep an eye on.

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FROM HAWGBEAT.COM: Arkansas fires Chad Morris after less than two seasons

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WILLIE FRITZ, TULANE

Fritz has truly worked his way up from the bottom of the college football ranks, starting at the junior college ranks and having success at the Division II, FCS and Group of Five ranks. Fritz led Georgia Southern’s transition to the FBS level, which included a Sun Belt conference championship in his first season at the school. After taking the Tulane job in 2016, Fritz turned around the Green Wave and has clinched back-to-back bowl eligibility for the program for the first time since the 1979 and 1980 seasons. Fritz’s recruiting ties to Georgia and New Orleans make him an attractive option from a recruiting standpoint as well.

MIKE LEACH - Head coach, Washington State

One of the most unique personalities in the game, Leach has made a name for himself by thriving at conference outposts. He coached at Texas Tech from 2000-09, going 84-43 and leading the team to a bowl game in every season. After an ugly breakup from the school in which Leach was fired after allegations of mistreatment by one his players, Leach resurfaced at Washington State in 2012. He took the Cougars from the bottom of the Pac-12 to four consecutive bowl games and an 11-2 record in 2018. Leach, one of the pioneers of the Air Raid offense, was nearly hired by Tennessee in 2017 and has been a candidate for several other positions in recent years.

GUS MALZAHN - Head coach, Auburn

Would the Razorbacks really make a pitch to Arkansas native Malzahn to return to his home state? The veteran coach was the Razorbacks' offensive coordinator in 2006 and also spent a year as the head coach at Arkansas State, sandwiched around his tenure at Auburn as the Tigers' offensive coordinator (2009-11) and head coach (2013-present). Malzahn was rumored to be a candidate before Morris was hired in 2017 and received a long-term extension from Auburn that offseason. But with his name seemingly coming up in hot seat discussions on a yearly basis, could he make the leap to another program ala Jimbo Fisher? It’s tough to see it happening but it’s not out of the realm of possibility either.

BILLY NAPIER - Head coach, Louisiana-Lafayette

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