Jeff Long's search for a football coach continues. Rumors abound.
Boise State Coach Chris Petersen's name has been linked to the Arkansas job.
While most rumors turn out to be nothing more than a rumor, there's one thought that just won't seem to go away -- Long has agreed to hire a coach from the West who is a “wow” hire.
Assuming that is true, it doesn't take long to narrow down the coaches from that part of the United States who would carry that type impact if they are the next coach at Arkansas. Assuming the sources who insist this will be the hire mean the coach is currently in college then three coaches come to mind who would bring a “wow” factor to Arkansas.
Oregon Coach Chip Kelly obviously fits that description, but there's zero chance Kelly will be the next coach of the Razorbacks. Kelly is 45-7 in four years at Oregon. It appears if and when Kelly leaves Oregon it will be for the NFL.
Boise State Coach Chris Petersen is 82-8 in seven years heading the Broncos. Petersen is an obvious “wow” hire. Sources indicated on Friday that Petersen would very likely be the next coach at Arkansas. Petersen has been linked to nearly every opening in recent years, but yet he remains at Boise State.
Will Arkansas' job in the SEC be enough to finally lure Petersen away from Boise State? At Arkansas, Petersen would be coaching in a more secure conference. When Boise State joins the Big East the travel requirements for Boise State will be demanding.
Long is, by all accounts, a very good athletic director to work for. He seemingly gave former coach Bobby Petrino everything he asked for and needed to try and make Arkansas a powerhouse each year in the SEC. Petrino spoke highly of Long various times while at Arkansas.
The only other coach from that region who might be a “wow” hire would be UCLA's Jim Mora Jr. Mora is in his first year at UCLA and has them at 9-3 and preparing to play Stanford in the conference championship game on Friday night.
Mora is a former NFL coach with both the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks. Mora was 26-22 in three years with the Falcons and 5-11 in one season in Seattle.
Mora has resurrected a UCLA program that had basically hit bottom, but in one year Mora completely turned around the complete attitude surrounding the team. Sources indicate that Mora does have interest in the job at Arkansas.
On Monday night, rumors were running rampant that Long would make Washington Coach Steve Sarkisian the next coach at Arkansas. According to multiple sources, that was just a rumor and nothing more. Sarkisian is a good coach who has a 26-24 record at Washington including 7-5 this season, but would hardly be a “wow” hire.
Will all this stuff about a “wow” hire from the West turn out to be true or just another false rumor? Long appears ready to announce his hire in the next six to 10 days though timetables for hiring a coach are always subject to change. It appears the majority of candidates being mentioned with the Arkansas job though do have games this weekend so that timetable seems to be pretty accurate.