Arkansas formally announced Paul Rhoads as its new defensive coordinator Wednesday. Coach Brett Bielema had previous tweeted about a team meeting in which he revealed that Rhoads was being promoted from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator, replacing former coordinator Robb Smith.

“I’m honored and appreciative of this opportunity given to me by Coach Bielema,” Rhoads told the team’s official site. “We are looking forward to finishing up a great 2017 recruiting class followed by rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on our defense.”

Bielema added Rhoads to his last in February 2016. The Hogs coach has lengthy praise for his new coordinator’s experience as a head coach and coordinator.

“With the hiring of Paul as our defensive coordinator, we are gaining a defensive coach who has coached at the highest level as both a head coach and a defensive coordinator in some of the most competitive conferences in the nation,” Bielema said. “When I first hired him as our defensive backs coach, I knew of his outstanding reputation and his experience. But in Paul’s time here at Arkansas, I’ve been able to see the way he’s developed our secondary and how our guys react to him. I have full confidence in him leading our defense.

“I was excited to share with our team Monday night that he will be the voice and coordinate our defense moving forward. Our players are very excited about the opportunity to get back to work for the upcoming season under his leadership. In the next few weeks, Paul and I will complete the defensive staff as part of our continued commitment to be much improved as a team heading into the future.”

Rhoads was head coach at Iowa State from 2009-15. He has prior coordinator experience in the SEC as Auburn’s defensive coordinator for the 2008 season. The Tigers ranked 18th nationally in scoring, allowing 18.0 points per game and 178.8 yards passing to rank 22nd nationally.