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Pittman hiring becomes official

Former Tennessee assistant coach Sam Pittman was officially named offensive line coach at Arkansas on Thursday as expected.

Sam Pittman is known as an excellent recruiter and offensive line coach.

Hawgs247 reported Wednesday night that Pittman had been hired and that an announcement was coming soon.

The addition of Pittman is the latest strong hire by Arkansas’ new coach, Bret Bielema. Wisconsin defensive coordinator Chris Ash has already been hired to run the Hogs’ defense, and Wednesday, former Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney was announced as the Razorbacks’ new OC.

"First of all, I’m so excited and very honored to be the offensive line coach at the University of Arkansas," Pittman said during a Thursday afternoon conference call. "Obviously, Coach Bielema is a great head football coach and I’m ecstatic about working with him and of course I’m working with a great offensive coordinator in Jim Chaney as well as a wonderful friend of mine."

Pittman revealed that already has some history with the Hogs, dating back to his high school days when Lou Holtz was Arkansas' head coach. He camped at Arkansas one summer, and hoped he might earn a scholarship.

"I graduated from Grove (Okla.) High School and used to come to all the Arkansas games when I was a senior in high school," Pittman said. "Unfortunately, I wasn’t a good enough player to play there, but certainly of all the places in the country, the University of Arkansas is where my wife and I wanted to be, and we’re very fortunate."

Pittman went on to play at Pittsburg State in Kansas before embarking on a what has become 27-year coaching career, including 19 years as an offensive line coach.

He is regarded as a top-notch recruiter and has already been recruiting for the Razorbacks, issuing an offer Wednesday night to four-star offensive lineman Reeve Koehler of Honolulu’s St. Louis School.

"If you want to be the best coach in the country, you'd better go get the best players," Pittman said of recruiting. "I enjoy it. I think that those things that come out as far as awards and all that for recruiting, there's a lot of things that go into that, but I love a challenge.

"The bottom line is I like to meet people and I like to go out and get the best players in the country so I can look like a little bit better football coach. It's fun."

In a press release issued by the UA, Bielema said the 51-year-old Pittman has “earned a reputation as one of the finest offensive line coaches and one of the most relentless recruiters in the nation.”

“His time with Jim Chaney is another bonus as we move forward with the development of our offensive philosophy,” Bielema said. “He has been a part of great programs where he played a major role in assembling highly ranked recruiting classes. He has demonstrated the ability to help linemen make remarkable improvement in a short amount of time. He also is able to relate to his players and simplify the game for them, which will benefit our aggressive offensive attack.”

A native of El Reno, Okla., Pittman came to Tennessee in 2012 and helped the Vols lead the SEC and rank fourth nationally in fewest sacks allowed per game (0.67). Prior to taking the job in Knoxville, Pittman was the offensive line coach at North Carolina for five seasons. His other coaching stops include stints at Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Pittman said he'll arrive in Fayetteville on Friday.

The Pittman File

Birthdate: Nov. 28, 1961

Hometown: El Reno, Okla.

Family: Wife, Jamie

Coaching History

Dec. 2012 Arkansas (Offensive Line)

2012 Tennessee (Offensive Line)

2011 North Carolina (Associate Head Coach/Offensive Line)

2007-10 North Carolina (Offensive Line)

2004-06 Northern Illinois (Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line)

2003 Northern Illinois (Offensive Line)

2001 Kansas (Offensive Line)

2000 Missouri (Offensive Line)

1999 Western Michigan (Offensive Line)

1997-98 Oklahoma (Offensive Line)

1996 Cincinnati (Offensive Tackles/Tight Ends)

1994-95 Northern Illinois (Offensive Line)

1992-93 Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College (Head Coach)

1991 Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College (Offensive Line)

1989-90 Trenton (Mo.) High School (Head Coach)

1987-88 Princeton (Mo.) High School (Head Coach)

1986 Beggs (Okla.) High School (Assistant Coach)

1984-85 Pittsburg State (Student Coach)

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