Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Arkansas adds Pittman as offensive line coach
Sam Pittman talks with Tennessee offensive lineman Zach Fulton during a game against Akron at Neyland Stadium.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has added Sam Pittman as the Razorbacks' offensive line coach.
Pittman, 51, spent last season at Tennessee and worked at North Carolina from 2007-11. He joins former Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney on Bielema's first staff at Arkansas.
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“Sam Pittman has earned a reputation as one of the finest offensive line coaches and one of the most relentless recruiters in the nation,” Bielema said in a release. “His time with Jim Chaney is another bonus as we move forward with the development of our offensive philosophy.
"He has been a part of great programs where he played a major role in assembling highly ranked recruiting classes. He has demonstrated the ability to help linemen make remarkable improvement in a short amount of time. He also is able to relate to his players and simplify the game for them, which will benefit our aggressive offensive attack.”
In his only season at Tennessee, Pittman's offensive line led the Southeastern Conference and ranked fourth nationally in fewest sacks allowed. ESPN.com recently rated him one of college football's top 25 recruiters.
"Sam is a wonderful football coach," Chaney said prior to Pittman's hiring at Arkansas. "If (Bielema) decides to go that direction, I think that's wonderful."
Pittman has coached at 10 different colleges and three high schools during a career that spans 27 years. He went to high school in Grove, Okla., about 90 minutes northeast of Fayetteville, and played college football at Pittsburg State University in Kansas.
Bielema, who was hired last Tuesday, has added three assistant coaches to his staff. In addition to Chaney and Pittman, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Chris Ash was hired to the same position for the Razorbacks.