Some of the recent changes in the coaching carousel have been somewhat of a surprise. There were not many pundits that expected former Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville to leave for Cincinnati at the same position.
He was asked what his initial reaction was to the phone call from Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock.
Tuberville said, "You can tell I’m not from the state of Ohio with my accent, but I’m learning. It can be very quick... I had a great home. Lubbock, Texas and the people of west Texas are great people; they love football. Our football team played hard. Our staff did a great job of coaching. But there was something when Whit called that I thought, ‘You know, let me think about this.'" (gobearcats.com)
After fired at Arkansas due to a scandal and spending a season off, Bobby Petrino has made his way back into college football as a head coach for Western Kentucky. Petrino was too risky for a hire at top tier programs, but a good grab for a Sun Belt team. If he does have success early on for the Hilltoppers, expect Bobby to roll out of Bowling Green, KY to either the SEC or another high caliber opening.
"I have basically spent the last eight months working with my family, trying to make things right with my wife Becky and with my children," Petrino said. "We've been in counseling and I have learned a lot about myself. I'm really excited about this opportunity. I didn't know if I would get it or if I wouldn't." (USA Today)
Check out the list of the coaches carousel below with links to reports.
Arkansas, John L. Smith Reassigned
Arkansas State, Gus Malzahn New School
Auburn, Gene Chizik Fired
Boston College, Frank Spaziani Fired
California, Jeff Tedford Fired
Cincinnati, Butch Jones New School
Colorado, Jon Embree Fired
FIU, Mario Cristobal Fired
Georgia State, Bill Curry Retired
Idaho, Robb Akey Fired
Kentucky, Joker Phillips Fired
Louisiana Tech, Sonny Dykes New School
North Carolina State, Tom O'Brien Fired
Northern Illinois, Dave Doeren New School
Purdue, Danny Hope Fired
South Florida, Skip Holtz Fired
Southern Mississippi, Ellis Johnson Fired
Temple, Steve Addazio New School
Tennessee, Derek Dooley Fired
Texas Tech, Tommy Tubberville New School
UTEP, Mike Price Retired
Western Kentucky, Will Taggart New School
Western Michigan, Bill Cubit Fired
Wisconsin, Bret Bielema New School
Arkansas, Bret Bielema
Arkansas State, Bryan Harsin
Auburn, Gus Malzahn
Boston College, Steve Addazio
California, Sonny Dykes
Cincinnati, Tommy Tuberville
Colorado, Mike MacIntyre
Idaho, Paul Petrino
Kentucky, Mark Stoops
North Carolina State, Dave Doeren
Northern Illinois, Rod Carey
Purdue, Darrell Hazell
South Florida, Willie Taggart
Southern Miss, Todd Monken
Tennessee, Butch Jones
Texas Tech, Kliff Kingsbury
Western Kentucky, Bobby Petrino
The Arkansas Razorbacks have had a wild offseason including a head coach involved in a scandal leading to termination and multiple players arrested on various charges. Then there is new head coach John L. Smith. He wasted no time making proclamations with the first being a pledge for a national title run. "Nothing is going to slow down. In fact, we're going to speed up. Our expectations are that we're going to battle and fight for a national title."
However, since his proclamation there were three more player arrests including wide receivers Marquel Wade, Maudrecus Humphrey, and tight end Andrew Peterson. Wade being the most prominent of the three and was expected to be a hot target at wide out for quarterback Tyler Wilson. These arrests add on to three others that occurred in April and March before Smith took the position.
With a mixed head coaching background and a bad stint at Michigan State, Smith was presumably hired as an interim to keep continuity in the program for this season since he was recently an Arkansas assistant coach. However, it is obvious that one thing will change in Arkansas and that is the brashness combined with a quirky exuberance that Smith exhibits publicly compared to the constrained commentary style by former coach Bobby Petrino.
Smith has been known for various tirades and stunts including slapping himself at a post game press conference. Hopefully for Razorback Nation, Smith at age 63 can fully utilize his chance for redemption with the opportunity to coach a title contender and bring them to the next level that many thought Petrino was on his way to doing.
John L. Smith comes into a situation with seemingly full support by players and people within the program. Twitter approval was acknowledged shortly after his hire with tweets from Knile Davis and former Razorback Ryan Mallet, current New England Patriots back up quarterback.
With top returning talent and John L. Smith now as coach, could this finally be the Year of the Hog not the Elephant or Tiger? Arkansas is trying for it and the fans still have hope. But a disappointing season and too many losses would just be another slap in the face. Either way, Smith should make it an interesting season. John L. Smith's meltdown against Ohio State in 2005John L. Smith Slap
(Post Updated June 4, 2012)
Hiring Bobby Petrino a near-certainty
Coming from an Arkansas fan, I couldn't care less about what Bobby Petrino did at Atlanta and Louisville as far as the lies, because that was more about him just avoiding the situation when getting a new job. Yes, it was not good of him to do that either.
But what he did at Arkansas however went well beyond his past lies. His lies combined with a mistress while using his coaching position to give her an advantage as well as $20,000 turned it into a scandal and disgrace for Arkansas. When I first heard about Jessica Dorrell involved in the accident and the initial reports came out, I knew that it was going to unravel into a scandal warranting Petrino's termination just by simply connecting the dots in the reports. I believed before Long's press conference about Petrino's departure that he deserved termination.
He will eventually get another job for the winning records he puts together, but without a doubt he did not deserve a second chance at Arkansas. Sooner or later, he will get a chance from a team willing to get wins over the possibility of a scandal or humiliation for the program.
According to ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski, "Somebody is going to offer him another coaching gig. A good one, too, either as an NFL assistant or college head coach. The reason is obvious. Of all the eternal truths in sports, none is more dependable than this one: If you can win games, you can find a job."
How soon will he be back? It will have to be enough time for his critics and detractors to calm down and forget about it some as well as time for Petrino to get his life in order, but he will always have those against him. He seems to gather more and more opposition with each coaching job.