Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
UA staff members see pay increase
Tim Horton, a former Razorbacks player who has spent the past six years as an Arkansas assistant, has reportedly been in contact with Auburn and Texas about positions on those staffs, and he is thought to still be in the running for a spot at Arkansas.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas’ bump in pay for Coach Bret Bielema’s football staff is extending beyond the assistant coaches, with the new director of football operations and the on-campus recruiting coordinator set to receive heftier salaries than their predecessors.
Mark Taurisani, the director of football operations, will be paid $150,000, a 44 percent increase from the $103,800 Mark Robinson made in the same position last year.
Chris Hauser, the on-campus recruiting coordinator, will receive $80,000, an increase of 43 percent over the $55,735 Nick Holt made in that position in 2012.
Hauser signed his offer letter Dec. 11 and assisted with recruiting visits during his first week on the job. Taurisani came on board Dec. 17. Both of the new staff members followed Bielema from Wisconsin.
One coach who apparently won’t be heading south from Madison, Wis., is running backs coach Thomas Hammock, who also serves as the Badgers’ recruiting coordinator.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported Friday that Hammock will be retained by new Wisconsin Coach Gary Andersen. Media outlets in Wisconsin have been reporting that Hammock had an offer to join Bielema’s staff at Arkansas.
Bielema has yet to name a running backs coach, a linebackers coach and two other on-field coaching positions. The news about Hammock could impact Tim Horton, a former Razorbacks player who has spent the past six years as an Arkansas assistant.
Horton has reportedly been in contact with Auburn and Texas about positions on those staffs, and he is thought to still be in the running for a spot at Arkansas.
Taver Johnson, the Razorbacks’ assistant head coach and linebackers coach in 2012, also might have a shot at sticking at Arkansas. Wisconsin linebackers coach Andy Buh took the defensive coordinator’s job at California earlier this week, and he reportedly had an invitation to join Bielema at Arkansas.
Andy Wagner, who served as director of sports video the past three years at Arkansas, has taken the position of director of football operations at Western Kentucky for former Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino’s first staff in Bowling Green, Ky.
Sports, Pages 26 on 12/22/2012