FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas has officially announced the promotion of Michael Scherer to coach linebackers and the additions of Jermial Ashley and Cody Kennedy to the staff.
Ashley will coach the defensive line and Kennedy has the tight ends. Earlier, Kenny Guiton was hired to coach the wide receivers. Sam Pittman is still searching for Joshua Thompson’s replacement as executive director of recruiting.
Hunter Yurachek, Arkansas’ Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics, addressed the coaching changes on Wednesday.
“That was part of our conversation and the staff he put together as a first-time head coach,” Yurachek said. “He felt as he had time to work alongside his full-time assistants and people on his staff for a full year that there needed to be some changes made. Him and I worked together how financially to make that work so he could put together some changes to his staff. We’re excited to get those new coaches here and joining our staff, and I think having an option to meet them, it is definitively a better fit for our program. I look forward to seeing them on the field coaching our student athletes here this spring.”
Guiton replaces Justin Stepp who left for the same job at South Carolina, where he is from. Kennedy replaces Jon Cooper while Ashley will take over for Derrick LeBlanc. Scherer was promoted from defensive analyst to coach linebackers replacing Rion Rhoades.
The new coaches are from places where Arkansas recruits. Scherer played at Missouri following an outstanding high school career at St. Louis (Mo.) Country Day. Arkansas has had success recruiting St. Louis.
Ashley played high school football at Keller (Texas) Fossil Ridge and then went on to Tyler (Texas) Junior College. He had an outstanding career in junior college and then at Kansas for two seasons. Once again, recruting is important here. Ashley has extensive ties to the Dallas area and the junior colleges in Texas.
Kennedy has recruiting ties in Louisiana and other SEC states. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana in 2012 and was an assistant at Tulane. LeBlanc was from Louisiana so the addition of Kennedy should help in that state.
Guiton played his high school football at Houston (Texas) Aldine Eisenhower before heading to Ohio State. He has also coached at the University of Houston. Guiton should provide Pittman with outstanding recruiting ties in Houston.
From just a recruiting standpoint, it appears that Pittman has hired assistants who should help in St. Louis, Missouri, Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Texas junior colleges, Houston and Louisiana. All hot spots for the Hogs to seek football players.
Pittman and the four assistants will participate in a Zoom call with reporters at 3:30 p.m. today.