FAYETTEVILLE — Deron Wilson was the final hire by Sam Pittman to complete his staff and it appears the fit is going to be a very good one.
Pittman praised Wilson on Wednesday and talked about what he brings to the staff.
“And then Daron Wilson is the same deal,” Pittman said. “He comes from the family of a coach. A very well respected coach, a respected recruiter in his [uncle], Frank. But he’s a different guy. He’s not his [uncle]. He has Louisiana ties. But he’s got Louisiana ties and we need to get involved in that state a little bit more, so that helped us there.”
Walker played high school football at New Orleans (La.) O. Perry Walker before playing at Southern Miss. He was the defensive coordinator at McNeese State in 2020-21. Pittman then went into more detail on what led up to him hiring Wilson.
“Well, he was rising, now,” Pittman said. “I mean, he was going from Florida to LSU to another university had offered him same day we did, or maybe we were half a step ahead of them, in the SEC as well. But Marcus (Woodson) and Travis (Williams) had done a lot of interviewing, Zoom interviewing, and when I got Deron on the phone, I knew he was the guy we needed to hire. He came highly recommended through the Zoom interviews and of course I knew some people that knew him. But that’s how he became… We Zoomed a lot of guys, we interviewed a lot of guys. We asked him to the prom first and he said he’d come, so that was great.”
As far as why he chose Arkansas over some offers, Wilson explained that on Wednesday.
“The thing that drew me here, really not the thing, but the person and the people that drew me here — Coach Pittman,” Wilson said. “He’s a stand-up guy, great guy. As soon as the opportunity came, I reached out to some of my mentors that had worked with him that know him, and everything was, ‘He’s a man of character. He’s a man of faith. He’s a great guy. He’ll be the best head coach you ever work for.’ That was the consistent answer that I got over and over and over. When people you really trust say those things, of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“With Coach T-Will and Coach Woodson, the initial interview, it was just the natural mesh that we had. It was kind of the initial when you met your wife, you kind of knew, ‘She’s the one. I know I’m going to marry her.’ That’s the feeling I got during my interview with Coach Woodson and Coach T-Will.”
Wilson is expected to be outstanding for the Razorbacks on the recruiting trail. He detailed what he feels can be his selling points in recruiting.
“For myself, the first thing when you think of the University of Arkansas, you go to the state of Texas, if you go to Georgia, the Atlanta Braves, right?,” Wilson said. “If you start talking about Texas, you have the Cowboys, the Houston Texans, you have all these pro teams.
“In the state of Arkansas, you have the University of Arkansas. It’s the flagship school, where kids want to come here growing up. Like, ‘I want to go to the University of Arkansas.’ Your No. 1 pitch is we are the pro team. The players, the coaches, they want to see us. That’s the No. 1 pitch. And some of the winning tradition you have. Going back to my playing days, when you’re talking Ryan Mallett and Darren McFadden, a lot of those guys, you start talking about the winning tradition, there’s a lot of things you can sell when you’re talking about this university.”
Wilson and the Razorbacks will begin spring ball on March 9.