FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Pig Trail Nation) — Sam Pittman has been named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region 2 Coach of the Year.
Pittman led Arkansas to an 8-4 and third-place finish in the brutal SEC West. From 2017-19 Arkansas won a total of eight games including one in the SEC. The Razorbacks are 11-11 in two years under Pittman including an all-SEC schedule in 2020 when they finished 3-7.
Arkansas was 4-4 in the SEC this season and went undefeated outside the SEC for the first time since 2016. Arkansas is going to a New Year’s Day bowl game this season. They haven’t been to a bowl game since 2016.
The Razorbacks were selected to the Texas Bowl last season, but the event was canceled due to COVID issues at TCU. He is the fifth Arkansas head coach in history to lead the Razorbacks to a bowl game berth in each of their first two seasons, joining Houston Nutt (1998 & 1999), Ken Hatfield (1984 & 1985), Lou Holtz (1977 & 1978) and John Barnhill (1946 & 1947).
The AFCA recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association’s five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners, who are selected by active members of the AFCA who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions, will be honored on Sunday, Jan. 9, during the 2022 AFCA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
The AFCA will also announce the 2021 Werner Ladder AFCA FBS National Coach of the Year on Sunday, Jan. 9. The regional winners, including Pittman, Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell (Region 1), Michigan State’s Mel Tucker (Region 3), UTSA’s Jeff Traylor (Region 4) and Utah State’s Blake Anderson (Region 5), are finalists for National Coach of the Year.
No. 21 Arkansas will face Penn State (7-5) in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla. The game will be televised on ESPN2.