FAYETTEVILLE — Georgia State running backs coach Jimmy Smith apparently is new Arkansas coach Sam Pittman’s choice to be the Razorbacks’ new running backs coach.
Smith replaces Jeff Traylor of the previous Chad Morris Arkansas staff who last month became the head coach at the University of Texas-San Antonio and hired Barry Lunney Jr., the 7-years Arkansas tight ends coach and interim head coach the final two games of 2019, as offensive coordinator.
Former Georgia offensive line coach Pittman (2015-2019) knew of Smith not only as Georgia State’s running backs coach this 2019 during which GSU of lower division FCS upset FBS schools Tennessee of the SEC and Army, but from Smith serving 12 years coaching at Cedar Grove High Atlanta with his last six years as athletic director/head football coach/head track coach. Smith coached Cedar Grove’s football team to two state championships.
The UA has not officially announced Smith’s hiring but his Twitter account has a photo of a lit up Reynolds Razorback Stadium with the caption “BLESSED!!!!!!!” accompanying it.
Several outlets also report that Pittman is about to hire Scott Fountain, Georgia’s special teams coordinator, as Arkansas’ special teams coordinator.
Fountain has been Georgia’s full-time special teams coordinator since 2018 after serving as a Georgia special teams analyst in 2017.
A high school coach in Alabama from 1988-1983 including head coach from 1990-1992 at Frisco Coty and 1993 at Monroe County, Fountain started his college coaching as a Florida State graduate assistant in 1993. Fountain has coached offensive lines at the University of Central Florida, Middle Tennessee State and Georgia Southern, and coached tight ends at Iowa State and Auburn and has been the recruiting coordinator at Central Florida and Iowa State and special teams coordinator at Auburn.
Lunney coordinated Arkansas’ special teams in 2019.
Pittman is known to have hired tight ends coach Jon Cooper from the University of Central Florida and defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc from the University of Kentucky though not yet officially announcing their hiring.
Officially on Pittman’s staff are defensive coordinator Barry Odom, the Missouri head coach last four seasons, offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, hired from Florida State, cornerbacks coach Sam Carter off Odom’s Missouri staff; linebackers coach Rion Rhoades, the head coach the last 14 years at Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College; offensives line coach Brad Davis, hired off Odom’s Missouri staff; and from Morris’ two Razorbacks seasons retained receivers coach Justin Stepp.
Pittman has one vacancy to fill on his NCAA maximum allowed 10-man full-time assistants staff and also looks for a head strength and condition coach since Morris strength coach Trumain Carroll recently became the strength coach at the University of South Florida.