As the search continues for Arkansas’ next head coach, many candidates have already come and gone. This poses an intriquing question: will Arkansas hire its next HC before the 2012 season?
The unfortunate timing of events plays a critical role in the 2012 season for Arkansas. All around the nation, college teams are wrapping up their spring training. Every coach is focused on the future of their team at this point of the year, so much that they even ignore their own family until the first summer break. What does this mean for Arkansas? Well, if Jeff Long is unable to pull in the candidate of Arkansas’ future this offseason, the only logical thing left to do is name an interim coach until the end of the season. We don’t want any half-witted coach taking over this enormous of a program (Multi-million dollar athletic facility upgrade, top 10 most valuable sports program, and ranked top 10 in nation).
Arkansas football staff remains intact for the remainder of the 2012 season, so why rush the hiring of our next Head Coach if he is unavailable at this time? We have been provided the unique situation of having one of the best coaching staff in Arkansas history. If this staff is able to provide the momentum to push Arkansas to a BCS title, then why not hire from within? Jeff Long has more than just hiring a Head Coach on his plate, he also has to decide WHEN it will be best to hire the next Head coach or if it is even necessary.
As a long-time Arkansas fan, donator, and season ticket holder, I believe that fitting a round peg into a square hole in order to satisfy those telling me to hire a coach, will not be beneifical in the long-term. A perfect match must be made and some time that takes a little bit of time with possibly an interim coach in the mean time. Ohio State is the perfect example of this. After witnessing an epic collapse, OSU fans, alumni, and administration did not rush into finding their next coach. Instead, they named an interim coach (Luke Finkell) and ended up landing one of the biggest hires in recent college football history after Urban Meyer accepted the position at the end of the season.
The future has never looked brighter for OSU after one of the darkest hours in the history of their program. Immediately after hiring Urban Meyer, the OSU fanbase was whipped into a frenzy. Donations increased while recruits immediately decommitted from other colleges to join Ohio State. This was after enduring only one season of issues: key players left after admitting to entire fanbase they would stay, postseason bans, and scholarship losses.
In conclusion, the best road for Arkansas’ long-term viability may be to not hire a coach until the end of the 2012 season. As we can see with OSU, not rushing the job search has provided greater rewards than before. This may be a tough time and we are all looking for our next leader. In the meantime, naming an interim coach may be the answer everyone is looking for and possibly even past the 2012 season.