Don’t Be Disappointed! Lower the Bar for New Razorback Hire With This Hot List of Coaching Candidates

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Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door.

People don’t realize that, and as soon as they realize those three guys are not coming through that door, the better this town will be for all of us.

Those are the famous words of Rick Pitino as he was trying to deal with the high expectations of the fans and media during his tenure as coach of the Boston Celtics –– and those words echo through my head every time I hear the latest big-name coach rumored to be taking the vacancy at the University of Arkansas.
First it was the Butch Davis rumor that gained steam with Razorback fans earlier in the season, then there was the constant barrage about former NFLer Jon Gruden that has continued to snowball, and mixed in have been the names of Gary Patterson at TCU, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, and favorite son Gus Malzahn, among others.

Now the hot name at the moment who is destined to take over operations of the rudderless UA football program is Chris Petersen at Boise State. Never mind that he’s already turned down Stanford and UCLA in the past and might be more interested in the Oregon job should Chip Kelly depart for the NFL.

I think the list of prospective candidates for the Razorback job needs to be recalibrated just in case none of those big names pan out and we end up with another Jim Grobe at the podium calling the Hogs.

Now is the time to lower the bar so low that we can’t possibly be disappointed when Vice Chancellor Jeff Long calls the press conference and KATV interrupts everyone trying to follow what is going on with “Revenge” this season. (Too many flashbacks!)

So with all that in mind, I present a new “Coaching Hot List” of names to replace John L. Smith and break the champagne on a new era of Razorback football. Just stick with this list and don’t listen to the rumors, and I promise you will not be disappointed when the new coach is hired no matter who it turns out to be.

1) Alton Tenpenny (North Little Rock) –– So, Alabama, you have lured Arkansas’ top high-school athlete with a promise of starting at running back for the Tide? Well, we’re upping the ante by naming him HEAD COACH! Take that, Saban. And since college athletes can’t be paid, just think of the millions the Razorback Foundation will no longer have to fleece from fans in seat donations.

2) Becky Petrino (Montana) –– After going through the stage of acceptance that Bobby Petrino would no longer be the Razorback coach, many fans immediately rallied to hire Brother Paul to keep the Petrino magic going in Fayetteville. Now that Paul has split town as the OC, what about wife Becky? Laugh if you want, but a similar thing happened in the WWE when Linda McMahon took over for husband Vince and then kicked him in the groin at Wrestlemania for having an affair with Trish Stratus.

3) Archie “Gunslinger” Cooley (Parts Unknown) –– Anybody remember this guy at UAPB? The Gunslinger was using the hurry-up no-huddle offense back in 1980. 1980! His innovative “Satellite Express” offense spread out five wide receivers, and the best part about it was that four of the five usually weren’t even registered students! Yes, he leaves a trail of NCAA violations wherever he goes, but so did John Calipari and that didn’t stop Kentucky.

4) Josh Floyd (Shiloh Christian) –– Is there a better recruiter than someone from Shiloh Christian in Springdale? Now THAT’s the kind of recruiting the UA needs. We see what greatness former Shiloh coach Gus Malzahn went on to when you combine that kind of recruiting with the resources of the Auburn Bagman. As a bonus, some of those infamous Springdale parents could be his offensive coordinator.

5) Derek Dooley (available) –– If the UA is unable to land any of these big names continuously swirling in the rumor mill and ends up with another mid-major coach who will echo the Derek Dooley era in Tennessee for the next three seasons, why not just hire the real thing and get it over with? Dooley would be the second coming of Lou Holtz roaming the Razorback sidelines (in style of pants, at least).

Razorback fans, if you are dismayed with this list, just remember that someone did eventually walk through that door in Boston. His name was Kevin Garnett and the Celtics won an NBA championship. Stranger things have happened in the soap opera that is Razorback football.

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