FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman has lost three assistants this offseason and it’s possible a fourth could happen.
Mississippi State head coach Zach Arnett has Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles at or near the top of his list for the same job there. Steve Robertson of 247Sports was the first to report Arnett’s interest in Briles.
It would be the first of the four coaches to leave that didn’t get a promotion. Barry Odom is the new head coach at UNLV, Dowell Loggains is the offensive coordinator at South Carolina and Michael Scherer the defensive coordinator at UNLV. Odom was defensive coordinator at Arkansas, Loggains coached tight ends and Scherer linebackers.
Briles’ offense has been an explosive and balanced one during his three years with Pittman. Briles is set to make $1.25 million this season and $1.3 million in 2024 at Arkansas.
Briles was at four different schools serving as offensive coordinator prior to arriving at Arkansas as a member of Pittman’s first staff. Baylor, Houston, Florida Atlantic and Florida State were Briles’ last four jobs before coming to Arkansas.
The Razorbacks had 6,128 yards of total offense this season. That is second highest in school history behind only Bobby Petrino’s 2010 offense. Arkansas rushed for 3,077 yards and passed for 3.051 yards this season. The 681 yards of total offense in the 55-53 three-overtime win over Kansas in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl set a school postseason record.
KJ Jefferson, Rocket Sanders, Feleipe Franks, Treylon Burks and others have been outstanding in Briles offense.
Arnett served as defensive coordinator at Mississippi State under Mike Leach. He was promoted to head coach after Leach’s unexpected death last month.