Arkansas Hired John L. Smith as Interim Head Coach For 2012 Season

Arkansas has hired former assistant coach John L. Smith to replace Bobby Petrino as head coach on an interim basis for the 2012 season. Smith, a head coach from 1989 to 2006, joined Bobby Petrino’s staff as special teams coach from 2009 to 2011. He had been hired by his alma mater Weber State to be head coach in December.

Smith, 63, has extensive head coaching experience, though the latter part is not exactly a credit to him. He led Louisville to two Conference USA titles and a Top 20 finish from 1998 to 2002 before taking the Michigan State job. He finished 8-5 with the Spartans his first season, but won just 14 games in the three seasons after that and was fired during the 2006 season.

On a permanent basis, this would be shocking, though as an interm move it makes sense. Smith has coached an AQ level program. He’s a familiar with the university staff and players. On paper, Smith should stabilizing things, though, in perception, it is hard to picture John L. Smith beating out Miles and Saban in the SEC West. The hiring makes sense, though Arkansas fans can’t be enthused.

Here’s John L. Smith getting hired at Weber State.

Here’s John L. Smith having a meltdown at Michigan State.

[Photo via Presswire]

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