Arkansas coach Sam Pittman will return next season, athletic director Hunter Yurachek said Sunday.
Arkansas had high expectations this season but has posted a 4-7 record in Pittman's fourth year. Yurachek said in a social media post that he told the team on Saturday night that Pittman would be back.
“This has not been the season any of us anticipated,” Yurachek said in his statement. “We have work to do. I am confident that together, we can meet the goals and expectations of our program.”
Pittman said after the Razorbacks' 44-20 win over Florida International that speculation about his future had hurt recruiting and that some of the stories about him contained false information.
“Media has become opinions,” he said. “I wish we’d post the facts, and whatever the facts are, then we can deal with it.”
Pittman has a 23-24 record at Arkansas, including an 11-22 mark in Southeastern Conference play, heading into Friday's home game against No. 10 Missouri. He took over as head coach in December 2019 after a four-year stint as Georgia's offensive line coach and was tasked with reviving a program that went 2-10 in 2019.
The Razorbacks went 3-7 in 2020 before Pittman began having success. He guided Arkansas to a 9-4 finish in 2021 and a win over Penn State in the Outback Bowl, leading to a five-year contract extension.
Arkansas went 7-6 in 2022 and won the Liberty Bowl, a 55-53 triple-overtime thriller over Kansas.
The Razorbacks had hoped to take a leap forward this season with a roster that featured preseason All-SEC honorees in quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim “Rocket” Sanders.
Arkansas has been competitive this season but has lost several close games. The Razorbacks opened the season with victories over Western Carolina and Kent State before a run that combined bad luck with poor play.
Arkansas led BYU by 10 points in the second half before losing 38-31. The Razorbacks drove inside the BYU 20-yard line in the final minute, but the possession stalled with four penalties, including one on the final play, to end the game.
Then-No. 12 LSU needed a late field goal to beat the Razorbacks 34-31 in Baton Rouge. Arkansas gave up an interception return and a punt return for scores in a 34-22 loss to Texas A&M.
A rally came up just short in a 24-21 loss to then-No. 11 Alabama. Arkansas had just 78 yards and four first downs in a 7-3 loss to Mississippi State, and offensive coordinator Dan Enos was fired the next day.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll