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John L. Smith fired by Arkansas as coaching search continues

John L. Smith has been dismissed by Arkansas after only one season.

Wesley Hitt

After just one very disappointing season at the helm of the Arkansas Razorbacks, John L. Smith was fired on Saturday morning. Smith was a complete bust in Fayetteville, finishing the year with a 4-8 record. The team had very high expectations, coming into the campaign ranked No. 10 in both the USA Today and AP polls.


I am very grateful to Chancellor (David) Gearhart and Jeff Long for the opportunity they gave me to return to the University of Arkansas and coach this football team. I have enjoyed guiding this group and I am extremely proud of how everyone in our program stuck together and showed tremendous character by competing throughout the season. Everyone on our staff has my appreciation as they all believed in our goals and stayed committed to the development of these young men. I would like to thank the Razorback fans for demonstrating their support for these student-athletes and this coaching staff during a challenging time. I enjoyed every day of this experience and this profession has been and will continue to be rewarding to me. During my time here, it has been incredible to be a part of helping this program grow and I wish everyone involved nothing but success in the future.

Smith was replacing Bobby Petrino, who was dismissed following inappropriate conduct with another member of the institution. The Razorbacks had been very successful under the watchful eye of Petrino, but they didn't come close to those standards in 2012.

The year fell apart early, with a home loss to the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. That game was followed by a 52-0 beating at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide, another home defeat against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, and a blowout 58-10 loss to Texas A&M.

Arkansas could only win two SEC games in 2012, defeating bottom-feeders in the Kentucky Wildcats and Auburn Tigers.