Razorbacks Coaching Staff: Building The Perfect Beast?

On Defense:

Chris Ash: Defensive Coordinator

Has coached at Wisconsin and Iowa State. His arrival at Wisconsin coincides with a notable improvement in defensive statistics across the board. His background is in coaching defensive backs.

Notable players: Marcus Cromartie, J.J. Watt, Devin Smith, Brendan Kelly, Chris Borland and Tyler Dippel.

Chris Ash joins the Razorbacks from Wisconsin and Coach Bielema’s staff there where he was Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs coach. High rankings, post-season awards and good player development are the hallmarks of his defenses. We are assuming his duties will also include defensive backs.

Charlie Partridge: Defensive Line

Has coached at Wisconsin, Pitt and Iowa State. His defensive lines at Wisconsin were consistently great, even in ‘rebuilding’ years. Very good at player development. Has excelled as Special Teams coordinator.

Notable players: Darrelle Revis, Marcus Cromartie, David Gilbert O’Brien Schofield, Matt Shaughnessy, Mike Newkirk, Phillip Welch and Brad Nortman

This is the guy. His defensive lines are consistently very good-to-great. Statistically, his units are near the top in three-and-outs, third down defense, sacks, pass defense and rush defense time and time again. Of all the coaches we’d hoped Coach Bielema would bring with him, this is the guy. In addition to his defensive line duties, we’re hoping he will have the Special Teams responsibilities because he has been an outstanding coach of that unit.

Randy Shannon: Linebackers

Has coached at TCU, Miami and Dolphins. His stint at the University of Miami as Defensive Coordinator was noted for producing top ten defensive rankings in every year but one. Outstanding recruiter with deep ties in Florida. His Miami teams were good at academics and stayed out of trouble, and a former Broyles Award winner.

Notable Players: Ray Lewis, Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams, Jon Beason, Rocky McIntosh, Ed Reed, Antrel Rolle, and many others.

We’ll admit — we’re a little amazed at this one. We’d been hearing the rumor for a couple of weeks, but thought it just wishful thinking. Turns out, the rumors were true. Coach Shannon has a proven history of coaching Linebackers at a very high level. A part of three National Championship teams – one a player and two as a coach – at Miami, he brings a credibility that can’t be overlooked. He is also a proven recruiter and a man of outstanding character, responsible for cleaning up the character issues that had plagued Miami since time immemorial.

Taver Johnson: Cornerbacks

Johnson is the lone hold-over from the previous coaching staff. Has coached in the NFL (Browns), at Ohio State, Notre Dame and Miami (Ohio).

Notable Players: Malcom Jenkins, Terrell Jones, Terna Nande and John Busing.

During his five seasons in Columbus, Ohio State put together a record of 50-15 that included four straight Big Ten titles and BCS appearances. Johnson helped produce 2008 Jim Thorpe Award winner Malcolm Jenkins, who was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten performer. The Buckeyes had three cornerbacks selected in the NFL Drafts between 2008-12, led by Jenkins as the 14th overall pick by New Orleans in 2009. Ohio State had three different cornerbacks earn four first-team All-Big Ten honors under Johnson.

Of course, we have no way of predicting if this staff will win like some of the great Broyles staffs did, or if the coaches on this list will go on to the kind of success that some of Broyles assistants did. But to a man, this staff has proven that they can coach and recruit at a very high level. This staff is no Murray State Mafia, and the attention that is being shown on the defensive side of the ball seems to be very different than the Petrino era.

We are encouraged and optimistic about the future of Razorback football. Arkansas has the facilities, the resources, and now it appears that we have the staff to recruit and develop the kind of talent that is needed to compete at a very high level in the SEC.

Bonus Time!

Razorback Coaching Hires - Frank Broyles: The best of all time?

A few observations on Coach Broyles legacy.

While researching this article, we found a good site on coaching trees.

Coach Broyles had, at some point in his 19 year run at Arkansas, Barry Switzer, Joe Gibbs, Johnny Majors, Jimmy Johnson, Hayden Fry, Doug Dickey, Raymond Berry, Pat Jones, Monte Kiffin and Jackie Sherrill on staff as assistant coaches.

More than 25 Broyles assistant coaches went on to become head coaches at the college or professional level. Many of who have gone on to notable and sustained success, in both the NFL and the College game.

They include 6 Super Bowl winners, 5 National Championship winners, at least 40 Conference Titles and more than 2,000 games won.

In 1961, Broyles had Doug Dickey (Head Coach at Tennessee and Florida), Barry Switzer (Head Coach at Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys) and Hayden Fry (Head Coach at SMU and Iowa) on staff.

In 1964, Broyles had Barry Switzer and Johnny Majors (Head Coach at Tennessee and Pitt) on staff.

In 1972, Broyles had Raymond Berry (Patriots), Joe Gibbs (Redskins) and Gunther Cunningham (Chiefs) on staff.

In 1975, Broyles had Jimmy Johnson (Hurricanes, Cowboys), Bill Lewis (Georgia Tech, Dolphins, Notre Dame) and Pat Jones (Oklahoma State, Dolphins, Raiders) on staff.

We here at Sporting Life Arkansas would surely love it if our friends at HogDB (there is no better place for the Razorback historical record, period) would put together a full, season-by-season list of assistant coaches on their outstanding website. It seems like keeping track of the amazing Broyles legacy would be a good fit for what they do.
We realize that would be a daunting task.

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