Before landing the head coaching job with the Razorbacks, Sam Pittman was a longtime Division I offensive line coach. His only stint as a head coach came back in the early 90's when he led the Hutchinson CC (JC - KS) program for a few seasons.
Pittman has worked under some really impressive coaches and been a part of some really good staffs dating back to 1994 when he landed his first FBS coaching position. However, while he has had the trusted assistant head coach title, he's never been a FBS play caller, and the odds of making the jump from Power Five offensive line coach to major college head coach is an uphill battle.
Making the jump from Power Five offensive line coach to SEC head coach is unheard of, even for someone of Pittman's pedigree.
For some quick perspective, in a study we did a handful of years ago, just over 9% of FBS head coaches at the time (2014) had offensive line backgrounds, with quarterbacks coaches and defensive backs coaches combining to account for over 50% of FBS head coaches at the time.
So when Sam took the stage tonight as the Head Hog at Arkansas, he fought back his emotions as he stood on that stage fulfilling a lifelong dream. But he could only fight them back for so long before they got the best of him in a moment that reminds us all that even big, gruff offensive line coaches are people too.
During the presser, he thanks all that Kirby Smart has done for him, talks about what he wants his team to look like and how they will make residents of Arkansas proud, and the belief that must be present for the program for him to have over 500 coaches reach out to him since the news broke of his hire to try and get on his staff.
So much went into this opportunity for Pittman, from hours in the film room and on the practice field to preparing his tail off for interviews he was considered a long shot for. Great to see a guy that has paid his dues in the profession earn a shot.
Pittman finally breaks down at about the 18:30 mark of the video.