Partridge introduced at FAU

By: Logan Wilson
Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Charlie Partridge speaks during a news conference where he was introduced as the new NCAA college football coach at Florida Atlantic University, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 in Boca Raton, Fla. Partridge served as assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Arkansas last season. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
Charlie Partridge speaks during a news conference where he was introduced as the new NCAA college football coach at Florida Atlantic University, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 in Boca Raton, Fla. Partridge served as assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Arkansas last season. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Former Arkansas defensive line coach Charlie Partridge was introduced as the new head coach of Florida Atlantic on Tuesday.

Partridge, 40, is a Plantation, Fla. native and the fourth person to be named head coach at FAU. He coached just one season at Arkansas, but spent five years as an assistant at Wisconsin with Arkansas coach Bret Bielema. The Badgers won three consecutive Big Ten championships and made three straight Rose Bowl appearances during that time.

Partridge also served as one of the lead recruiters for targets in South Florida, including freshman All-Southeastern Conference selections Alex Collins and Denver Kirkland.

"I am very excited to see Charlie have the opportunity to return home to lead the Florida Atlantic program," Bielema said. "He grew up less than 30 minutes from the campus and has long been regarded as an exceptional recruiter in the state of Florida.

"I have been impressed working with him for the last six years and it has been evident to me his personality, drive and knowledge of the game would provide him the opportunity to be a head coach. He has a unique ability to relate to all of his student-athletes and maintains relationships with them far after their college careers have ended.

"I would like to thank Charlie for being a critical part of our coaching staffs at two schools and taking an integral role in developing the foundation for future success for the Razorbacks. As he takes his championship coaching experiences back to an area he cares greatly about, I wish him and Julie and their daughters Alexa and Kylee nothing but success."

ESPN reported Partridge will have a 5-year contract worth $2.76 million. His contract with the Razorbacks was worth $350,000 annually and included a buyout of $50,000.

“This is a tremendous honor," Partridge said. "I’m extremely excited to come back to South Florida and to build upon the program that Howard Schnellenberger started. I look forward to this opportunity and to working with the high school coaches and the community leaders as we build FAU football.”

Partridge is the fourth Arkansas assistant coach to leave for a head coaching job at a football bowl subdivision program since 2011. Former Razorbacks assistants Garrick McGee (UAB), Paul Petrino (Idaho) and Paul Haynes (Kent State) were hired in the past two off-seasons.

John L. Smith, who spent three seasons as an assistant coach, was hired by Weber State following the 2011 season before returning to coach Arkansas last year.

Florida Atlantic fired former head coach Carl Pelini midseason after allegations of drug use arose surrounding Pelini and some of his assistants. FAU finished the 2013 season with a 6-6 record but was not selected for a bowl.

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