Arkansas parts ways with Smith after one season

Smith filed for bankruptcy in September.

(SportsData) – The Arkansas Razorbacks have put an end to the appointment of head football coach John L. Smith after one season, the school announced Saturday. The Razorbacks began the year ranked in the top 10, but they finished 4-8 (2-6 in the SEC-West).

“I have great respect for Coach Smith and I thank him for the sincere commitment he has shown our program,” Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said in a release. “He made a difficult decision in uncertain times to return from his alma mater to guide the young men in our football program, and I will always be grateful for his efforts.”

The 64-year old Smith spent three seasons as an assistant coach under Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino, but he left after last season to become head coach at Weber State, his alma mater. When Petrino was fired in April, Smith returned to take over at Arkansas and was signed to a 10-month contract.

“I am very grateful to Chancellor (David) Gearhart and Jeff Long for the opportunity they gave me to return to the University of Arkansas and coach this football team,” Smith said, via a statement. “I have enjoyed guiding this group and I am extremely proud of how everyone in our program stuck together and showed tremendous character by competing throughout the season.”

Smith will remain in the department as a consultant through the completion of his 10-month contract on Feb. 23, 2013. Before his brief stop at Weber State, Smith most recently coached at Michigan State from 2003-06.

 

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