5 worst Arkansas football head coaching hires

Let's look back at the history of Arkansas football and examine the careers of the five worst Arkansas football head coaches of all-time.

Western Kentucky v Arkansas
Western Kentucky v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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No. 2: Bobby Petrino (2008-11)

Sometimes a hire is bad despite success on the field. That's the case with Bobby Petrino whose off-the-field scandal brought shame to the Arkansas program and sent the Razorbacks into a tailspin that they are yet to fully pull out of.

After resigning as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL, Petrino was hired by Arkansas prior to the 2008 season. It didn't take long for him to start to have success in Fayetteville, either.

After an initial 5-7 campaign, he would go 8-5, 10-3, and 11-2 in his final three seasons on the job. However, those solid seasons, some of the best the Hogs have had in their recent history, will forever be overshadowed by Petrino's off-field controversy.

In April of 2012, he was injured in a motorcycle crash. Initially, the university claimed that no other individuals were involved. However, three days later, it was revealed that a female staff member, Jessica Dorrell, was on the motorcycle with Petrino at the time of the crash.

After details of an affair between the two were revealed, Petrino was fired leaving Arkansas in an awful position. Thus ended the quick rise that the program had made in Petrino's four years on the job.

Sure, Petrino won a ton of games at Arkansas. What's more, he's apparently still beloved by the fan base as he has now returned to Fayetteville to be the offensive coordinator under Pittman.

However, hiring a man who would engage in an affair with a member of his support staff is never a great idea. Of course, no Arkansas administrator could have foreseen Petrino's missteps.

However, that doesn't change the fact that he was a bad hire in hindsight because he brought shame and negative attention upon the university. In other words, he put his own carnal lusts before what was best for Arkansas and in doing so he quickly brought to an end one of the best runs the program has had since joining the S.E.C.

Ideally, college head coaches are supposed to set an example for the young men they lead. That doesn't always happen, though, as the list of coaches who couldn't control their urges is as long as it is salacious. However, no program wants one of its coaches to be part of that club.

Since Petrino crashed his bike with Dorrell on board, Arkansas has had just four winning seasons in 12 years. Had Petrino been able to keep his bike on the road or his hands off of Dorrell, he could have built something great at Arkansas. But because he couldn't do either, he set the program up to have to hire Smith and then Bielema, two coaches that couldn't get the job done and the program is still trying to recover to this day.