Arkansas hires new defensive coordinator

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Alabama

The waiting and speculation is now over. Arkansas has hired Robb Smith as its defensive coordinator to replace Chris Ash, who left for Ohio State in January.

Related: Arkansas’ signing day recap

Smith was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ linebackers coach last season, and he previously coached four years at Rutgers with Greg Schiano and was the Scarlet Knights’ defensive coordinator in 2012.

“I’ve been able to watch Robb Smith grow in the profession, and I know he’ll bring in an attacking defensive philosophy that is built specifically to stop offenses in the SEC,” Bielema said in a statement. “Robb has been promoted time and time again at every place he’s been.

“With his background, he captivates a room no matter where he is and players gravitate toward him. He’s demonstrated an understanding of what it takes to build a team into a championship program.”

Smith will also coach the Hogs’ secondary, and he now becomes the Hogs’ fourth different defensive coordinator in as many seasons. He inherits a defense and team that allowed an average of 30.8 points per game and went 0-8 in the SEC.

Linebackers coach Randy Shannon was recently given a new title as the senior associate head coach, and Bret Bielema also hired Rory Segrest last month to replace Charlie Partridge, who left to become FAU’s next head coach.

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