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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas coach Chad Morris calls his players to the sideline against North Texas Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, during the second quarter at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. Visit to see more photographs from the game. - Photo by Andy Shupe

Looking at the history of first-year coaches around the country, few have great success in that initial year.

At the University of Arkansas there have been two exceptions since football became a major sport.

In 1977, Lou Holtz coached a team that had been 5-5-1 the previous season to 11-1 and a win in the Orange Bowl. In 1998, Houston Nutt took a 4-7 team the previous season and went 9-3.

So looking into a crystal ball, where do the Razorbacks seem headed? Maybe 2-10? Perhaps a little better, but their only win was against Eastern Illinois and that FCS team is 0-3.

But some of the biggest moves by Chad Morris probably have not happened yet, and they may not until the season ends when he likely will help a few players find new schools. It is a very common practice.

Understand that it would be next to impossible to get every player signed by Bret Bielema to buy into Morris and his staff, especially since there seems to be an underlining issue of discipline.

For instance, if -- IF -- a player didn't get on the field for a kickoff after a touchdown and the Hogs had to take a timeout to find that player, he probably won't be back regardless of talent. Same with a guy who throws a fit because he can't play his music as loud as he wants.

It happens all over the country, and there's no reason to believe Morris inherited a team that 100 percent buys into his theories and policies.

One of the outstanding organizations, Central Arkansas Fellowship of Christian Athletes, is getting ready to host its annual golf tournament, the Frank Broyles Classic, on Monday, Oct. 15, at Maumelle Country Club.

It is a highly competitive tournament, and winners advance to the FCA state championship, but it also a great time for fellowship and fun.

On Friday, Oct. 12, festivities will kick off at the Metroplex Event Center in Little Rock with an evening of entertainment that will include a panel discussion with emcee and former Razorback David Bazzel; Mark Henry, who after playing for the Razorbacks was a director for the FCA and is now a preacher at Fellowship Bible Church; and Robert Upshaw and Chuck Beale, both former athletes and FCA directors.

Former Arkansas head coach Ken Hatfield, who was 55-17-1 as the Razorbacks head coach, will be a featured speaker as well.

For more information or to sponsor this great event, go to

It started as just a note from longtime respected journalist turned Arkansas Activities Association media director Wadie Moore.

Moore has remained close with Oliver Elders, who spent 36 years coaching in the Little Rock School District, retiring at Little Rock Hall. Moore's note was a heads-up about a book Elders has published.

Elders was more than an excellent basketball coach, outstanding player at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (then Arkansas AM&N), husband and father. He was a role model and mentor for not only those fortunate enough to play for him but also for young men whose paths crossed his, including yours truly.

Elders' book Fruit of the Spirit is a collection of his favorite poems, Scriptures and words of encouragement. He will have a book signing tonight from 4:30-6:30 at the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum, sponsored by the ASHOF.

Elders was inducted into the ASHOF earlier this year.

The book costs $20 plus tax. Admission is free to the museum, and it is a really nice way to spend some time and see a live role model.

Sports on 09/20/2018

Print Headline: First-year UA coaches tend to struggle


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  • GeneralMac
    September 20, 2018 at 10:18 a.m.

    NO EXCUSE for a " first year SEC coach" to have his team blown out by a Conference USA team.

  • GeneralMac
    September 20, 2018 at 10:18 a.m.

    ( KEY WORDS......" blown out "....)

  • MaxCady
    September 20, 2018 at 3:04 p.m.

    Never seen one struggle this bad!! Well, maybe Jack Crowe. Even he won 3 games his first year at the helm. Hey, Wally, SMILE!!!

  • NoUserName
    September 20, 2018 at 6:18 p.m.

    That's rich. So the team looks poorly coached. But we're going to blame the players because they haven't bought into the system? Wowzers.