Athlon Gives Grades to the 24 New Head Football Coaches

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FAYETTEVILLE — The offseason saw 24 schools change head football coaches for various reasons.

Athlon has given each new coach a grade. They gave a B- grade to Arkansas’ Sam Pittman. Pittman replaced Chad Morris who was 4-18 in just under two years.

Athlon had the following about the Pittman hire.

14. Sam Pittman, Arkansas

Previous Job: Offensive Line Coach, Georgia

srcset=" 160w, 256w, 320w, 640w, 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" After an extensive coaching search, Arkansas eventually settled on Pittman to guide a program that hasn’t won an SEC game since Oct. 28, 2017. Pittman is widely regarded as one of the top offensive line coaches in college football and previously worked at Arkansas from 2013-15 in that capacity. The Oklahoma native also worked in the trenches for nine FBS programs, including Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Oklahoma. Pittman’s ability to develop talent up front isn’t in question, but he hasn’t been a head coach since 1992 when he went 11-9-1 at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. However, Arkansas provided a hefty budget for assistants, ensuring Pittman could hire good coordinators and serve as the program CEO. Considering the scope of the rebuilding project, Pittman needs a couple of years to turn things around in Fayetteville. Final Grade — B-

Athlon rated Mike Norvell who went from Memphis to Florida State as the best hire. Pittman is one of four new head coaches in the SEC. The other hires were Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin (No. 2 overall, A), Mississippi State’s Mike Leach (No. 4, A) and Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz (No. 11, B+).

Of course these rankings are basically just the opinion of those doing them. Pittman showed one of his strengths during the recruiting process when he helped the Hogs climb out of nowhere to a Top 30 finish. One reason he may have been ranked below all three of the other SEC hires is they were all head coaches previously.

Click here for the full rankings by Athlon.

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