Sam Pittman explains process behind hiring Dan Enos after Kendal Briles' departure for TCU
Sam Pittman had to replace both of his coordinators this offseason, as DC Barry Odom took the head coaching job at UNLV and OC Kendal Briles left Fayetteville for the same position at TCU.
But it didn’t take long for Pittman to move from Briles to Dan Enos ahead of the 2023 season.
Speaking with columnist Connor O’Gara on The Saturday Down South Podcast, Pittman explained why hiring Enos was such a smooth process:
“When Mississippi State inquired about Coach Briles, it was 14 days left in the transfer portal, and I was very concerned about that because kids — some do, some don’t — panic about who’s gonna be my next coach, so I’ll just transfer and play for a new coach, as well, which doesn’t make much sense,” Pittman said. “During that time, I reached out to Dan (Enos) to see if he might be interested. Obviously he and I are friends, and I worked for him basically in ’15 here. So I found out there would be some interest there. I told (Enos) that I wasn’t sure if Kendal was gonna take the job or not. Kendal ended up staying, so I texted Dan back and told him that there wouldn’t be a job here.”
But as it turned out, Pittman did end up laying the groundwork for hiring Briles’ successor. Two weeks later, reports surfaced that that Briles could be leaving after all. By the time TCU announced Briles as its next offensive coordinator, Arkansas had already made the Enos hire official.
“So when (Briles) decided to go to TCU, it was a smooth transition. I called Dan and said ‘Are you serious about it?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ I did not want any transition time. None. The portal was about to close and rumors had gotten out with Coach Briles (leaving for TCU),” Pittman said. “Kendal did what he thought was best for him and his family. I’m happy for him that he’s back in the state of Texas, back closer to him, closer to his family. I’m happy for him, but I had to be ready, and I was ready … as soon as we got the resignation letter from Coach Briles, we announced (Enos’ hiring) here.”
How will Enos fare in his first year as the Hogs’ OC under Pittman? We’ll see what his offense looks like this spring!
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I think Pittman made a good hire and did it the right way. He was prepared.
Enos had a very good run here previously. He’s going to run more pro set with KJ under center than Briles abd use the TE much more than Briles. What I’m most excited about is what Enos did with Brandon Allen. He took a “good” QB and coached him into one that completed 66% of his passes for 3500 yds, 30 TD’s and 8 INT’s. And Brandon wasn’t a running threat. I look for Enos to help KJ take that final step from a very good college QB to one of the best in the nation next season.