In the Arkansas version of “Where are They Now”, on Wednesday Fort Lewis College hired former interim Arkansas Razorback head coach John L. Smith as their new head coach… a long, long way from coaching in the SEC.
For those of you unfamiliar with Fort Lewis College they are located in Durango, Col. and are part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Skyhawks are a Division II program with an undergraduate enrollment of 3,800.
Some Arkansas fans, and some Weber State fans, will be happy with the thought imposed banishment of Smith to a Division II program that can typically only offer 16 or so scholarships per season.
Fans of Smith may take another view seeing the coach land on his feet as a head coach making a reported $67,000 per year; a drastic pay cut from the $800,000 he made as interim coach at Arkansas. The thought is perhaps one day Smith, 64-years-old, will make it back to a BCS program as a head coach, doubtful but maybe.
Smith’s personal coaching accomplishments may paint a different picture than fans at Michigan State and Arkansas will remember him by. Smith has won seven conference titles as a head coach and posted a win-loss record of 136-94 in 19 years as a head coach.
Razorback Nation will remember him as a coach that had a ton of offensive talent at the skill positions, solid defensive and offensive linemen, a preseason No. 10 AP ranking, and finished the year 4-8 with no bowl game.
Arkansas fans will not miss the seemingly week after week embarrassing antics Smith perpetrated during interviews and press conferences becoming a sound bite and punch line for sports stations across the nation.
To add some salt on Smith’s wounds after leaving Arkansas, the Skyhawks were 0-10 last season.