Van Horn back in Arlington to support friend Pittman

By: Bob Holt
Published: Sunday, September 26, 2021
Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn (left) and basketball coach Eric Musselman (center) congratulate football coach Sam Pittman following a 20-10 win over Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Arlington, Texas.
( Charlie Kaijo)
Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn (left) and basketball coach Eric Musselman (center) congratulate football coach Sam Pittman following a 20-10 win over Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Arlington, Texas.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Dave Van Horn, Arkansas’ baseball coach, was on the sideline for the Razorbacks' 20-10 win over Texas A&M on Saturday at the invitation of football coach Sam Pittman.

“Sam and I are pretty good friends,” Van Horn said. “He’s a great supporter of baseball and he knows that I love football.

“He called the other day and said, ‘Man, I really want you to come to the game and hang out on the sideline. I said, ‘I’ll do it.’

“I think the football team is playing hard. You can tell the players believe in what they’re doing and they believe in the coaches and the coaches believe in them. I think they’ll fight you to the end.”

Van Horn, who flew to the game with Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek, didn’t miss any fall practice by coming to the football game.

“We’re halfway through fall baseball,” Van Horn said. “Our guys needed a weekend off. It just worked out well for me to come to the football game.”

Pittman said Van Horn canceled practice to attend the game. Van Horn and Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman met with Pittman on the field after the game.

"I really, really appreciate both of them," Pittman said. "It was a special moment for me as head coach to have — I mean, it's Dave Van Horn and Eric Musselman, my God. It was really special for me to have both of them down there."

Arkansas is among the few college baseball programs that generate revenue, but Van Horn understands the importance of the football program bouncing back under Pittman.

The Razorbacks came into Saturday’s game ranked No. 16.

“I think it’s big for the university, it’s big for our athletic department and it’s big for the state for football to have success,” Van Horn said. “I think the fans just want to see the team compete hard, and they’re certainly doing that under Sam.”

Saturday marked the first time Van Horn attended an Arkansas-Texas A&M football game in Arlington, but last season his Razorbacks won three baseball games — beating Texas Tech, Texas and TCU — in the College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ stadium near AT&T Stadium.

Van Horn caught a pass thrown out of bounds by Aggies quarterback Zach Calzada in the second quarter.

Van Horn, who said he was a receiver at Winnetonka High School in Kansas City, Mo., held up the ball as Arkansas fans cheered and chanted his name.

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