Who should Arkansas hire? Barry Switzer shares his thoughts on the best candidate for the job
Everyone seems to have an opinion on who Arkansas should hire to replace Chad Morris and Barry Switzer is no different.
However, the difference between your average joe and Coach Switzer is decades of coaching, 12 conference championships, three national championships and a Super Bowl ring. He also has made a few connections in the world of college coaching that can’t be ignored when discussing which hires would make the most impact and bring the most success to the programs in question.
While Switzer is most associated with the University of Oklahoma, where he coached in some capacity from 1966 until 1988, the Hall of Fame coach was born in the Natural State and played linebacker for Arkansas. During a recent interview with The O’Colly Podcast, Coach Switzer was asked who his alma mater should hire after firing Chad Morris.
“I don’t know if they could get him, I don’t know if he would be interested in the job but the best guy out there is Mike Leach, because he has instant credibility, he’s won everywhere he’s been,” Switzer answered. “He’s taken second division clubs and made them winners – at Texas Tech he’s done it at Washington State. And quarterbacks and receivers all around the country, they know what it’s like – they know his reputation.
“That’s where they want to go to school, where they can throw the football and do the things Mike Leach does. That’s the guy, the best offensive coach out there. He coached Lincoln Riley, eight guys on the Oklahoma staff are proteges of Mike Leach. He’s my No. 1 pick out there.”
It should be noted that Switzer and Leach have a personal relationship, so his opinion could be influenced by that fact, but you can’t argue with the points he makes when it comes to the Washington State coach.
The Cougars were awful when Leach was hired by the school and have since been developed into a consistent winner, the same could be said for Texas Tech, which has not recovered since Leach left the program. Leach even has experienced in the SEC at Kentucky and coaching in the state of Georgia — at Valdosta State, which could help the Razorbacks in recruiting.
If Arkansas wants a veteran head coach with a proven track record of winning, that features an exciting brand of football, Leach is about as good as it gets.