New Arkansas football coach ideally hired by mid-December, says Jeff Long

The Arkansas Razorbacks should be one of the country's first teams to hire a new coach this offseason, with athletic director Jeff Long setting a hire by the middle of December as the goal, according to the AP.

After Bobby Petrino was let go before the 2012 season, Long named John L Smith the interim head coach. The team has struggled under Smith, posting a 3-4 record with home losses to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.

Long says Smith is still a candidate at this point, but also wants to consider others who exhibit "honesty and integrity on and off the field." Smith is currently filing for a $40.7 million personal bankruptcy over failed land deals.

The AD made it clear he's looking for someone who won't be intimidated by the SEC and who believes he can build a perennial national contender.

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