Published April 11, 2012 - 9:18am
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With the announcement that Bobby Petrino was ousted last night amidst his scandal and an “inappropriate relationship” with Ms. Jessica Dorrell, Athletic Director Jeff Long said the coaching search begins right away.
Long did not say whether he would hire a coach immediately or if he will stick with the current staff at Arkansas this coming season and promote an interim coach from within. That will be a tough decision.
But as he makes that decision, here are five coaches he should pursue:
1. Garrick McGee, UAB
This would be the logical hire and possibly the best hire right now. McGee is the new head coach at UAB and former offensive coordinator under Petrino last year. McGee would make it a quick and easy transition for the Razorbacks, and he would do it in a heartbeat.
2. Gus Malzahn, Arkansas State
Malzahn is an offensive-minded coach, much like Petrino, and he is from Arkansas. He was the offensive coordinator there in 2006 under Houston Nutt, and he’s currently at Arkansas State. He’s unproved as a head coach, but he would be a solid hire moving forward.
3. Charlie Strong, Louisville
Strong would be a wildcard hire for sure, but he is a defensive-minded coach who can recruit as well as anyone in the country. Strong can pull talent from anywhere in the country, and he would be a great hire for this program and the future. He’s done a nice job at Louisville, and he knows the SEC well, with his experience at Florida and South Carolina.
4. Dana Holgerson, West Virginia
I view Holgerson in the same way I viewed Petrino. The guy can score points in a heartbeat, and he would be a great fit for continued success on offense like the Hogs have been having under Petrino the last two seasons. I’m not sure he would leave WVU, but he would be a great hire. He’s one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the country.
5. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
I’m not so sure Mullen would leave Mississippi State, but he would be worth pursuing. Mullen has proven he can take average SEC talent and do a pretty good job coaching them. I would think he is on down the list of candidates, but he’s done a nice job in the SEC West, and he knows this conference well. He could win at Arkansas.
Arkansas is a very attractive job, but I’m just not sure how many would be ready to take this job in the middle of the year. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
Others who will be considered:
Skip Holtz, South Florida
Art Briles, Baylor