John L. Smith Introduced As Arkansas Coach For Next 10 Months

Arkansas has announced former Michigan State and Louisville coach John L. Smith as its interim for 2012. SI.com: Arkansas' fascinating hire. Related: Bobby Petrino coverage.

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John L. Smith's Arkansas Contract Only A 10-Month Deal, According To Report

The Arkansas Razorbacks will soon announce former Michigan State and Louisville head coach John L. Smith as their 2012 interim, the Associated Press reported. Pat Forde now confirms the report, adding a note about the length of Smith's term that runs contrary to previous reports, which had the next Hogs boss being named a non-interim:

Heavy speculation over the past week was that Arkansas would hire an interim coach for the 2012 season and then work on a long-term replacement for fired Bobby Petrino. Smith is not an interim coach in title, but has a 10-month contract and a long-term search is expected after the season.

Smith left Arkansas as special teams coach just months ago to take over the head coaching job at Weber State, his alma mater. If Arkansas was hoping to switch up the reputation it got by swiping Bobby Petrino away from another job ... this won't do it. While even a temporary head coaching job in the SEC surpasses just about any non-FBS job, this is still quite a surprising move all around.

Just about Arkansas' entire coaching staff is familiar with Smith, and his hire will enable coordinators to focus on coordinatin', but this is a name nobody predicted.

For more on Hogs football, visit Arkansas blog Arkansas Expats, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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John L. Smith To Be Hired As Arkansas Interim Football Coach, According To Report

The Arkansas Razorbacks kept a tight lid on coaching rumors until the brink of their 4 p.m. team meeting, but a report has finally emerged as to the identity of their next coach. According to the Associated Press, it will be John L. Smith, former Arkansas special teams coach and current coach of Weber State.


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Smith, 63, left the Hogs after the 2011 season to take over at WSU. Previously, he's worked as the head coach of Michigan State, Louisville, Utah State and Idaho, with other coaching stops throughout the country. He went 132-86 as a head coach, with a 4-11 mark in postseason games.

Smith left the Louisville job amid some controversy, as he bolted for the Spartans before the Cardinals' bowl game. He was replaced by Bobby Petrino, and now my brain hurts. He also leaves Weber State, his alma mater, without having coached a game there.

For more on Hogs football, visit Arkansas blog Arkansas Expats, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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Bobby Petrino Fired By Arkansas: Immediate Recruiting Impact

Arkansas' new coach is unlikely to be as good at coaching as Bobby Petrino, so he'll need to recruit better.

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Bobby Petrino Fired: Notes From Jeff Long's Press Conference

Arkansas Razorbacks athletic director Jeff Long elected to fire Bobby Petrino after the latter's motorcycle adventure that led to his cover-up of an employed mistress, making the announcement official Tuesday night. Petrino was a popular coach in the Ozarks, and the school has plenty of booster money tied up in Petrino remaining aboard, but felt the coach's latest breach of trust was just too much to bear.


SI.com: Jeff Long's Tough Decision and The Petrino Impropriety Power Rankings


Live from Bud Walton Arena, Long began by recounting his presser from last week, when he found Petrino had "not been forthcoming" about the incident despite "a number of opportunities."

Long said he's "spoken with key individuals" involved with the accident, including Jessica Dorrell, Lance King and others. He "reviewed the manner, the timing, the extent to which Coach Petrino shared information," including what he told players and faculty.

Petrino's "personal and professional" relationship with Dorrell contributed to Long's decision to fire Petrino.

"Coach Petrino knowingly misled" the university, said Long, adding that Petrino had four days to reveal the truth to the school or the media but chose not to. His relationship led to Dorrell being chosen over 158 other applicants and landed her a $20,000 payment along the way. Wow! Video evidence of such a claim:

Petrino "adversely affected" the reputation of the Razorbacks, said Long. He said the relationship wasn't against university policy, but found that Petrino "abused his authority" and "jeopardized the integrity of the football program."

Long called Petrino "misleading and manipulative" for using athletic department funds to hire a person "with whom he had a personal relationship." His "conduct is contrary to the character and responsibilities we demand of our head football coach," Long said, adding that such language is included in his contract.

Taver Johnson will remain as the interim coach through spring drills. He assured the assembly the school will seek a coach "Razorback fans across the nation" can be proud of, citing the SEC West as a selling point. The search will begin "tonight," Long said, refusing to offer a deadline of any sort and refusing to comment on whether offensive coordinator Paul Petrino would be considered.

Long nearly choked up while talking about addressing Hogs players. He said he told them to focus on their academics and spring ball. "I'm committed to providing them with leadership befitting of the development of student-athletes," Long said. He called it an "obligation." Here's that moment:

"We have high standards," Long said. "And a national reputation. Our expectations from our employees can be no less than what we expect of our students. No individual can be bigger than the team, the Razorback football program, or the University of Arkansas."

Petrino was fired with cause, Long confirmed, meaning there won't be any buyout paid. Long denied that he negotiated with Petrino -- a previous report had claimed the coach was offered conditions but turned them down.

Petrino will release a statement later Tuesday night.

For more on Hogs football, visit Arkansas blog Arkansas Expats, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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Bobby Petrino To Be Fired By Arkansas, According To Report

Arkansas has reportedly made its decision regarding the fate of football coach Bobby Petrino. An official announcement is expected at an 8:15 p.m. ET press conference.

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