The head coaching carousel may have ground to a halt, but the hunt for assistants carries on in earnest. With Chris Ash off to Ohio State, Arkansas were in the hunt for a new defensive coordinator. Robb Smith, most recently linebackers coach at Tampa Bay under Greg Schiano, is the man to fill the job.
Smith’s stop in the NFL may not have gone according to plan, but his 1 year as a defensive coordinator at Rutgers was a success. In 2012, the Scarlet Knights allowed just 312 yards per game, and an average of 14.2 points allowed, as the Knights went 9-4.
Prior to his year as defensive coordinator, coached special teams and (alternately) linebackers and cornerbacks starting in 2009 in New Brunswick.
Smith’s first coaching job was as a graduate assistant at Iowa, a role he parlayed into an assistant gig at Maine. With the Black Bears, he worked his way up the ladder, and was defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for 3 years before accepting the Rutgers job.
Arkansas finished 3-9 last season, with an 0-8 SEC record. While it wouldn’t be fair to completely blame the defense for the team’s failings, they weren’t entirely blameless either, and Smith should have his work cut out for him.