Arkansas fills out first coacing staff for Sam Pittman era


The first full week of the new year sees Arkansas with a full football staff. The university announced the final additions to the on-field coaching staff for new head coach Sam Pittman on Monday.

Jon Cooper will join the Razorbacks as a tight ends coach, a position he has held the past two years for UCF. Cooper will be returning to the SEC after previously coaching at Missouri under offensive coordinator (and current UCF head coach) Josh Heupel.

Scott Fountain has been named the new special teams coach. Fountain joins Arkansas after a season with the Georgia Bulldogs, where Pittman came from. Fountain was Georgia’s special teams coach and he spent four seasons as an assistant at Auburn prior to his time with Georgia.

Derrick LeBlanc takes on the role of defensive line coach at Arkansas after joining the program from Kentucky. LeBlanc also previously coached at LSU and in the state of Arkansas with jobs at Henderson State and Arkansas Tech.

Jimmy Smith joins Arkansas from Georgia State, and he will be the team’s running backs coach. Georgia State was a talented running program under Smith’s leadership in the sun Belt Conference. Smith also has previous high school coaching experience in the Atlanta area, a key and fertile recruiting ground Arkansas will hope to establish more relationships in moving forward.

Arkansas previously hired former Missouri head coach Barry Odom to be the team’s defensive coordinator. Former Florida State offensive coordinator Kendal Briles was hired to be the new offensive coordinator at Arkansas.