FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After leading the Arkansas Razorbacks to their best season in a decade, head coach Sam Pittman is being called one of the best coaches in the country.

Pittman was named the Region 2 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association Monday, with the group saying he “engineered one of the great turnarounds in college football.”

The Head Hog led Arkansas to an 8-4 record in 2021 and has the team headed to Tampa and the Outback Bowl on January 1 to face the Nittany Lions of Penn State.

This marked the second-straight bowl invite for the program under Pittman, though the first time his squad will actually go to a bowl. Last season Arkansas was set to head to the Texas Bowl before their opponent TCU had to withdraw due to COVID-19.

Pittman’s Region 2 honor also means he is a finalist for the AFCA National Coach of the Year. He is up against Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, Michigan State’s Jeff Traylor, Blake Anderson from Utah State and UTSA’s Jeff Traylor.

The winner of the 2021 Werner Ladder AFCA FBS National Coach of the Year award will be announced on Sunday, January 9, 2022.