FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman currently has announced six members of his first coaching staff at Arkansas.
A seventh member, Jon Cooper, is expected to be officially announced any day. He coached tight ends the past two years at the University of Central Florida.
For the first time at Arkansas both coordinators will be making at least $1 million annually. Barry Odom will be the defensive coordinator and will earn $1.2 million. The position Odom will coach hasn’t been announced yet.
Kendal Briles comes over from Florida State and will earn $1 million this season. He will also coach the quarterbacks.
On offense, Pittman still has yet to announce a running back coach. The names being tossed around are former UTSA head coach Frank Wilson, Florida State’s Donte’ Pimpleton, Georgia State’s Jimmy Smith, Missouri’s Cornell Ford, Vanderbilt’s Tim Horton and UCF’s Anthony Tucker.
The remainder of the offensive staff includes Justin Stepp with the wide recievers earning $400,000 and offensive line coach Brad Davis making $550,000. Cooper is expected to likely earn $225,000 with the Hogs once he’s officially announced.
The defensive coaches in place are Odom, Rion Rhoades at linebacker and Sam Carter with the cornerbacks. Odom has spent most of his career coaching linebackers, but has worked with safeties as well. If he is with the linebackers then he or Rhoades will take the inside group while the other works with the outside ones. Rhoades and Carter are both set to earn $225,000. Rhoades was the head coach at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College prior to being hired by Pittman while Carter was a defensive analyst at Missouri.
The Hogs have yet to announce a defensive line coach and then one more spot will be available to take the group that Odom doesn’t coach or a special team’s mentor.
The defensive line names mentioned are Georgia’s Tray Scott, Missouri’s Brick Haley, Hutchinson Community College defensive coordinator Alfred Davis and others.
The six announced hires will earn $3.6 million in salary in 2020. Assuming Cooper comes on for $225,000 that would leave Pittman roughly $1.175 million for his final three hires if the University of Arkansas sticks to its statement of approximately $5 million would be allotted to Pittman for his staff.