Danyelle and Eric Musselman need no introduction within the borders of Arkansas, their local celebrity elevated to royalty status since their arrival in Fayetteville three years ago.
Eric, of course, is the head basketball coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks, likely one of two or three people within the state more recognizable to Arkansans than the governor. (We’re looking at you, Sam Pittman and Dave Van Horn.)
Under Musselman’s leadership, the hoop Hogs have made consecutive Elite Eight runs in the NCAA tournament and returned Arkansas to the upper echelon of college basketball.
His wife, the former Danyelle Sargent, was a national sports broadcaster for ESPN, Fox Sports, the NFL Network and other outlets — she even did a little acting on Comedy Central. She and Eric married in 2009 while he was coaching in the NBA’s development league following stints as head coach of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors.
Danyelle is both Eric’s biggest fan and defender — the “GM of Team Musselman” — and her face often can be seen behind the Razorback bench at Bud Walton Arena engaged in full Hog call.
Both Musselmans have been enthusiastic Arkansas ambassadors and philanthropists, and their combined branding efforts have helped return the program to a national level not seen since the mid-1990s. And they have been actively engaged in the community.
Eric’s first year at the helm of Razorback basketball showed promise, a 20-win season cut short in the SEC tournament by the pandemic. What followed were back-to-back Elite Eight finishes that saw the Hogs win 25 and 28 games — 26 conference games over two years — and finish in the final top 10 for consecutive seasons.
And with the nation’s No. 2-ranked recruiting class coming in for 2022-23, the future looks, well, promising.
“We were really happy at Nevada,” Danyelle told Arkansas Money & Politics in December. “We were only going to leave if it was the right fit. Eric had a formula, and it was working. So, he was only going to leave there if it was really the right thing and the right move. And Arkansas definitely fits that bill.”
Both Musselmans have been enthusiastic Arkansas am-bassadors and philanthropists.