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Arkansas hires Kendal Briles as offensive coordinator

Update: Arkansas has announced the hiring of Briles.

“We are very excited to have Kendal, his wife Sarah and their three children join us at Arkansas, they will be a welcomed addition to the football family we are building,” Sam Pittman said. “Kendal brings an innovative offensive approach to our coaching staff. His offenses have been successful by both running and throwing the football in some of the nation’s most competitive conferences. He is well known for his ability to both recruit and develop young men into outstanding football players.”

Last week, we shared that new head Hog Sam Pittman had lined up interviews with Major Applewhite, Kendal Briles and Chip Long for his vacant offensive coordinator position.

Since that time, Pittman has filled in the staff that will work around the new coordinator, hiring Hutchinson Community College head coach Rion Rhoades and UCF tight ends coach Jon Cooper, and now sources say all signs point toward Briles being the next Arkansas offensive coordinator.

Cooper worked at UCF with Jeff Lebby, Briles's brother-in-law.

Briles is set to be on the open market after Florida State's firing of Willie Taggart and subsequent hiring of Mike Norvell. He was a candidate for the head job at Florida Atlantic and the offensive coordinator spot at Ole Miss, but those jobs went to his former boss, Taggart, at FAU and his brother-in-law, Lebby, at Ole Miss.

Whoever the new offensive coordinator is at Arkansas will have his work cut out for him. The roster has been through three seasons of whiplash after running Bret Bielema's ground-and-pound, then transitioning to the Chad Morris spread. The 2019 Hogs began the season with graduate transfers Ben Hicks and Nick Starkel vying for the starting position, but ended the year juggling a pair of freshmen, one of them being Jerry Jones' grandson, John Stephen Jones.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.