When Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek hired Sam Pittman as the school’s new head football coach, he had no idea what kind of offseason his new coach would have to navigate.

In a recent media opportunity, Yuracheck praised Pittman’s handling of an unconventional offseason which included shutdowns of spring practice and on-campus recruiting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Sam Pittman has been unbelievable,” Yurachek said, per Whole Hog Sports. “For someone who’s never been a head coach other than at the junior-college level early in his tenure, he has handled everything that has been thrown at him and his staff like he is a seasoned veteran head coach.”

Yuracheck hopes that Pittman, who turns 59 in November, gets to experience his first season as an FBS head coach in 2020.

“When we had our first opportunity for our coaches to truly be involved with our players on the field for about an hour Tuesday afternoon, and how that was organized and to see him walking around and the excitement that he was walking around with,” Yurachek said, “I hope we get to play football just for him. Because I know he’s been waiting a long time for this opportunity, and he’s handled it like a champ.”

Currently, Pittman is scheduled to make his Arkansas head coaching debut on Sept. 5 when the Razorbacks take on Nevada. An adjusted/delayed schedule could have the Hogs opening against Notre Dame (Sept. 12), Mississippi State (Sept. 19), or someone else.