Being an influencer in Arkansas is part of the job description when one coaches the Razorbacks, but to say Coach Sam Pittman has made an impression since he was hired in December 2019 to lift Arkansas football out of a ditch would be a gross understatement. Pittman had followed the Hogs since growing up in eastern Oklahoma and publicly made known his desire to end up at Arkansas. But his promotion from career assistant and highly respected offensive line coach to SEC head coach took some by surprise. But not his former players or those with whom he’s worked. Pittman was hired away from Georgia, where he served as OL coach and associate head coach for Kirby Smart. He previously spent three seasons at Arkansas, successfully coaching the line for Bret Bielema.
Pittman had been a head coach at the high school and junior college levels, but his hire to lead a Power 5 program was viewed as a gamble. He has more than proven that the UA brass right rolled sevens, leading the Hogs to three SEC wins and a bowl game in an SEC-only, COVID-shortened 2020 regular season. Following the Chad Morris era that resulted in just four wins and a 19-game SEC losing streak, Pittman took a moribund program and immediately infused pride and hope when the state needed it most.