Arkansas AD Jeff Long says he regrets one hire from last 10 years
One of the first hires made by Jeff Long as Arkansas athletic director was to hire Bobby Petrino as the Razorbacks football coach in 2008. While Petrino led the Hogs to back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2010 (10-2) and 2011 (11-2), it sounds like Long regrets the hire because of the slow rebuilding process which has followed since the coach’s dismissal in 2012.
Arkansas radio host Bo Mattingly recently caught up with Long at the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla. Mattingly asked Long about what he regrets during his time at Arkansas. While Petrino isn’t mentioned by name, it sure sounds like Long is referencing the current Louisville coach.
— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) June 1, 2017
“Probably one,” Long told Mattingly. “Probably that I compromised what I believed in because I thought a certain kind of coach needed to be in this conference to compete.
“So it’s a regret of myself and not living true to my values and what I believe in.”
Some might say that Petrino’s willingness to quit on the Atlanta Falcons midseason might have been a red flag, but Long’s desire to see Arkansas compete with the SEC’s top teams appears to have led him to hire Petrino despite his own concerns. Since Petrino (34-17 at Arkansas) was let go prior to the 2012 season, the Razorbacks have been coached by John L. Smith (4-8) and Bret Bielema (19-20).