Kirby Smart is one of the biggest fans of Sam Pittman as a coach, and he’s not surprised to see Pittman find success in Arkansas.

Pittman checks all the boxes in terms of job description for a successful college football head coach.

“I’m of the opinion that a good football coach that is willing to sacrifice his own ego and say, if I can go out and hire people smarter than me, and people that are really good coaches, I’m going to have a hell of a staff, and not make it about myself, then you’ve got a chance to be successful,” Smart said Monday at his weekly press conference. “Now, you’ve got to recruit, and you’ve got to recruit well. Because nobody does real well without good football players. I think that’s a big part of that role, but Sam fits all that. He’s a tremendous leader of men, and that’s the No. 1 discipline we’re charged with. How do you lead your men and how much do they believe in you and that, he’s got the ultimate right now going on because 100 percent of men in that locker room believe in Sam Pittman and what he tells them to be true, and they go out and play like it.”

About the second year jump, in terms of wins and losses, Smart referred to Pittman’s first year improvement from where Arkansas was previously.

“What’s really helped Sam is the buy in and belief the kids have in him,” Smart said. “And he’s got 8 or 9 super seniors. Eight or 9 super seniors makes a big difference, guys.”