NWADG College Football


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38 Arkansas Football Sunday, August 26, 2018 with the way things are, you're expected to win and expected to win immediate- ly," Luke said. "I think the pressure is going to be there." Ed Orgeron, a former Arkansas grad- uate assistant going into his third year as LSU's coach after replacing Miles on an interim basis during the 2016 season, welcomes the pressure that comes with running an SEC program. "I was glad I had my seat at LSU," Orgeron said of being on the job for an- other season. "But this is why you come to the SEC. You know that the expecta- tions are high. You know the expecta- tions are high at LSU. "So you invite those challenges. You're going to play in the SEC West — perhaps the best conference in the United States — and you're going to play against some of the best coaches." Morris said he's familiar with the SEC coaches even though he's new to the con- ference. "I had known most of them through recruiting or bumping into them when they were coordinators and on the trail," he said. "I think there's a lot excitement, a lot of new faces. "But I'm just excited to be the head football coach at the University of Ar- kansas and represent these young men and this program." Among the SEC's current coaches, four were assistants for Saban. Fisher was his offensive coordinator at LSU; Pruitt and Georgia Coach Kirby Smart were his defensive coordinators at Al- abama; and South Carolina Coach Will Muschamp was his defensive coordina- tor at LSU. Muschamp also is among two former Saban assistants who have been Florida's coach along with Jim McElwain. Pruitt is the second former Saban assistant hired at Tennessee along with Derek Dooley. "Nick is the best coach in college foot- ball because of the accomplishments he's had," Muschamp said. "He's done an out- standing job running his program from a scheme standpoint, from a recruiting standpoint, from a development stand- point. You name it, he does an outstand- ing job. "Athletic directors are always looking for the next mold of what that could be, and I think that's what's provided my- self and other guys opportunities to be a head coach." Saban's former assistants — including Michigan State's Mark Dantonio — are 0-12 against him as head coaches. Pruitt will face Saban for the first time this season. Smart or Muschamp could face him in the SEC Championship Game. "I guess if you do have more odds, you got a chance somebody's going to eventually beat him," Muschamp said. "Hopefully, we'll continue to get [chanc- es for] that to happen." Pruitt laughed when asked if Saban offered any advice when he left Alabama to take the Tennessee job. "You think Coach Saban is going to give me advice?" Pruitt said. "There's a lot of us [former Saban assistants] in the league. "I get an opportunity now. It is prob- ably you better write down everything you can. You better take it all in while you have the opportunity because as soon as you go put on the other uniform, I can guarantee you, everybody — even though everybody's friends — we want to beat the other guy. "So we don't want to give the other person the edge." Saban said he actually has offered ad- vice to his former assistants when they leave Alabama. "What I tell every guy when they leave, whether it was Jim McElwain or Kirby or whoever, I said the most im- portant thing for you, when you go to be your own head coach, is you have to be who you are," Saban said. "You have to be yourself. You guys have been that way here, and you made a tremendous impact on the group that you were in control over. "So to think you have to be any differ- ent just because you're in charge of the whole team instead of one side of the ball is not something you need to overthink." Long-tenured SEC coaches gradually have left the conference during Saban's time at Alabama including: m Phillip Fulmer being fired at Tennes- see in 2008 after 16 seasons m Mark Richt being fired at Georgia in 2016 after 15 seasons m Gary Pinkel resigning for health rea- sons at Missouri in 2016 after 15 seasons m Steve Spurrier resigning midway through his 11th season at South Caro- lina in 2015 m Miles being fired in 2016 during his 10th season at LSU m Mullen leaving Mississippi State for Florida after nine seasons with the Bull- dogs. Bobby Petrino (four seasons at Ar- kansas) and Hugh Freeze (four seasons at Ole Miss) would have had longer ten- ures, but were dismissed after the 2011 season and before the 2017 season, re- spectively, because of off-the-field issues. Barry Odom, going into his third sea- son at Missouri, has a longer tenure than seven other SEC coaches. "That doesn't seem right," Odom told Missouri reporters recently. "But that's what it is. "That's the world of instant gratifica- tion and the world of college sports. You don't really get long, extended periods of time. "That's not the phase we're in. Maybe that will change, but I doubt it." Stoops said he's happy for the SEC's new coaches, especially Fisher. He was Fisher's defensive coordinator at Florida State before going to Kentucky in 2013. But Stoops said he also misses old friends, such as Bret Bielema, who was Arkansas' coach the previous five sea- sons. "Going to the SEC head coaches' meetings, it's not fun sometimes to see the change every year," Stoops said. "I love seeing guys like Jimbo, but I hate seeing my old friends go out. "So it's very competitive, very tough. But I think we just all use that to lean on each other when we can." Saban isn't isolated from other SEC coaches. "There's been many occasions where the guys that are coaching at other plac- es in our league call and ask questions about things," Saban said. "That may be a management problem for them, whether it's their quarterback situation, whether it's what I think of a certain rule or some- thing that's going to happen in the future. "Sometimes I call them and ask for their advice and their opinion on things." Unfortunately for the other SEC pro- grams, Saban has made it clear he doesn't plan to retire any time soon. Saban, who will turn 67 on Oct. 31 — yes, Halloween — recently received a contract extension to be Alabama's coach through the 2025 season. "I really enjoy what I'm doing right now," Saban said. "And as long as I'm healthy and I can do it, I'm going to con- tinue to do it and not worry about any numbers or what my age is or anything like that." Saban v Continued from Page 37 New guys The SEC has six coaches who are in their first season at a school. Coach School Chad Morris Arkansas Dan Mullen Florida Joe Moorhead Mississippi State #Matt Luke Ole Miss Jeremy Pruitt Tennessee Jimbo Fisher Texas A&M #Was Ole Miss interim coach last season It's Nick and everybody else Since Nick Saban was hired at Alabama in 2007, the other 13 schools now in the SEC have had a combined 46 coaches — including some on an interim basis — and made 33 hires. Here is a rundown of the coaches at each school: School Coaches Names Alabama 1 Nick Saban Arkansas 5 Houston Nutt, Bobby Petrino, *John L. Smith, Bret Bielema, Chad Morris. Auburn 3 Tommy Tuberville, Gene Chizik, Gus Malzahn Florida 5 Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp, Jim McElwain, &Randy Shannon, Dan Mullen Georgia 2 Mark Richt, Kirby Smart Kentucky 3 Rich Brooks, Joker Phillips, Mark Stoops LSU 2 Les Miles, #Ed Orgeron Mississippi State 3 Sylvester Croom, Dan Mullen, Joe Moorhead Missouri 2 Gary Pinkel, Barry Odom Ole Miss 4 Ed Orgeron, Houston Nutt, Hugh Freeze, **Matt Luke South Carolina 3 Steve Spurrier, $&Shawn Elliott, Will Muschamp Tennessee 6 Phillip Fulmer, Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley, *$Jim Chaney, Butch Jones, Jeremy Pruitt Texas A&M 4 Dennis Franchione, Mike Sherman, Kevin Sumlin, Jimbo Fisher Vanderbilt 4 Bobby Johnson, ##Robbie Caldwell, James Franklin, Derek Mason *Interim coach for 2012 season &Interim coach for 4 games in 2017 #Interim coach 8 games in 2016 **Interim coach for 2017 season $&Interim coach 6 games in 2015 *$Interim coach 1 game in 2012 #Interim coach for 2010 season AP/BUTCH DILL Alabama coach Nick Saban signs a helmet Aug. 4 after practice in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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