Arkansas hires Hargreaves to coach linebackers

Vernon Hargreaves was hired as Arkansas' linebackers coach on Jan. 20, 2015 after spending two seasons at Houston.
Vernon Hargreaves was hired as Arkansas' linebackers coach on Jan. 20, 2015 after spending two seasons at Houston.

— Arkansas has hired veteran linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves to fill the opening left earlier this month when Randy Shannon was hired by Florida.

Hargreaves, 52, has spent the last two seasons as linebackers coach at Houston. He has 30 years of coaching experience, including six seasons working with Shannon at Miami.

“I am very excited about Coach Hargreaves as the newest addition to our excellent coaching staff,” Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said in a statement. “I have known Vernon for more than a decade and he has the ability and proven experience to adapt to multiple systems as a linebackers coach. His championship pedigree will make our linebackers better and help us continue recruiting from coast to coast.”

Hargreaves will make $275,000 annually in his position with the Razorbacks. His contract runs through June 30, 2016.

He would owe the university $100,000 if he accepts a non-head coach or coordinator position prior to Feb. 15, 2016. Hargreaves agreed to a no-compete clause that prohibits him from accepting a non-head coach or coordinator job with another Southeastern Conference program.

Hargreaves was an assistant coach at Miami from 1998 to 2005, during which the program won a national championship and won 34 consecutive games. With the Hurricanes, Hargreaves was position coach for several future NFL linebackers including Jonathan Vilma, Dan Morgan and D.J. Williams.

He has also spent time as an assistant coach at his alma mater Connecticut, Florida International, East Carolina and South Florida. He is the father of Vernon Hargreaves III, who was named a second-team all-America cornerback at Florida last season by the Associated Press.

“I’m very passionate about recruiting South Florida, and cannot wait to start bringing more Florida Hogs to Fayetteville," Hargreaves said in a statement. "(Defensive coordinator) Robb Smith and the defensive staff have done an excellent job and I look forward to helping the Razorbacks take the next step towards an SEC championship.”

The linebackers coaching position was one of two left vacant at Arkansas after off-season coaching moves. Bielema has yet to hire an offensive coordinator to replace Jim Chaney, who accepted the same job at Pittsburgh last week.

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