FAYETTEVILLE Brian Early, the defensive coordinator at Fayetteville the past four seasons, has accepted a position as defensive quality control assistant at Arkansas.
Early joined the Bulldogs’ staff prior to the 2009 season and helped lead the team to three consecutive appearances in the Class 7A finals from 2010 to 2012.
Fayetteville’s defense ranked second in the 7A/6A-West Conference last season, allowing 273.2 yards per game en route to the school’s second straight Class 7A state title.
“We’ve had seven coaches leave since I’ve been here and they’ve all gone on to be successful head coaches at other places,” Fayetteville head coach Daryl Patton said. “We hate to lose Brian. He’s been very successful and he was a big part of everything we’ve been able to do. But this is something he’s wanted to do for a long time, to get back into college coaching.”
Early, a graduate of Monticello High and Arkansas-Monticello, came to Fayetteville after five years as defensive line coach at Central Arkansas from 2004 to 2008. He also had previous college experience at Minnesota State and Arkansas-Monticello.
He will join several former Fayetteville players at the UA. Six former Purple 'Dogs were on the Razorbacks' roster last season, and three - quarterback Austin Allen, linebacker Brooks Ellis and safety Alex Brignoni - signed letters of intent to play there last Wednesday.
Early is the second coordinator Bielema has hired away from the high school ranks in Northwest Arkansas. Barry Lunney Jr., a former Razorbacks quarterback, was hired last month as Arkansas' tight ends coach after spending eight seasons as offensive coordinator at Bentonville.
Vernon Tarver and Matt Jones contributed to this report