Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, all herald the crowning of one John L. Smith as head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. John L. (the L can stand for whatever you like, as we all remember) was summoned to replace Bobby Petrino in the wake of his fall from grace. John L. Smith was the logical choice due not only to his close working relationship over the years with Petrino, but also because of his penchant for replacing coaches named Bobby.
When it became apparent at the end of the 2002 season that Bobby Williams wasn’t going to cut the mustard at Michigan State as a head coach, John L. was brought in to restore order. You see, Mr. Williams was very much a player’s coach and after a few seasons of having the inmates run the asylum it was deemed necessary to have a coach with a firm hand ascend to power in East Lansing and take control. After what must have been an exhaustive 15 minute search, John L. Smith was procured from the University of Louisville and brought his no nonsense style to bear upon the program. He removed names from the jerseys because he felt glorifying the individual ran contrary to the concept of team. He did, apparently, do a fairly good job of keeping his players in class and out of trouble. Of course what he did not do was win terribly often or have what appeared to be, even by the most liberal definition of the word, a disciplined team on the field. Further, the concepts of character and discipline didn’t necessarily appear to be ones he cherished on a personal level. If anything he often seemed more rash and eccentric to the outside world during his time in East Lansing. By the end of the 2006 season he thankfully parted ways with the Spartan Nation and took his eclectic talents elsewhere.
Obligatory Slap Video:
In the course of time John L. Smith has come once again to replace a Bobby, this time at Arkansas where he had been an assistant and had only just departed to take the reins at Weber State (replacing a man named Ron, so you knew it wouldn’t last). If you would like to read about this transition in more detail, please have a quick look at this bleacher report article which briefly chronicles the affair. There is no way of knowing how this interim position will work out for John L. or the University of Arkansas. Perhaps Mr. Smith will leave the assistants alone to perform as well as they have in the recent past. Conversely, there is the chance he will attempt to leave his indelible stamp upon the program and thus make changes in accordance with that desire. Either way I will find it interesting to follow what develops with the Razorbacks this coming season.
On a final, and for a change completely serious note, I want share a link to Shaw Lane Spartans blog on this subject. Not only is the article first rate as always, but there is a link to an earlier post wherein it is suggested that Arkansas should hire John L. Smith. What was once playful and humorous has become eerily prophetic. Also, please take a moment to consider donating to a worthy cause as at the end of the post there is a brief account of Mr. McEvoy’s plans to
torture himself run in a marathon in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I humbly salute his ambitions and wish him only the best in this endeavor.