New Arkansas head coach Chad Morris has locked in his defensive coaches on his first staff as the man in charge of the Razorbacks.
The team announced its four newest defensive staff members in a release on Wednesday morning, the day after Morris officially added longtime SEC defensive coordinator John Chavis as the Razorbacks’ defensive coordinator.
Steve Caldwell and John Scott Jr. will coach the Arkansas defensive line. Ron Cooper and Mark Smith will coach the secondary.
— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) January 10, 2018
Caldwell has experience coaching both at Arkansas and with Chavis, with whom he coached 15 seasons for the Tennessee Volunteers.
“I consider Steve Caldwell one of the best defensive line coaches around,” Morris said in the release. “Steve has a great reputation across the country, and when I started to look for a defensive line coach his name was the first to pop up. He has great familiarity with Coach Chavis, this program, and has built great relationships in the state. I’m excited about Steve’s strong recruiting ties in our state and to see him development our defensive line.”
Scott will remain at Arkansas in the defensive line role he had during the 2017 season.
“I’m thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Coach Morris’ staff and a member of the Razorback program,” he said. “I can’t wait to get to work with Coach Chavis and the rest of the defensive staff, and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop our players and get back out on the recruiting trail.”
Cooper and Smith come to Arkansas having coached under Chavis at Texas A&M and Morris at SMU, respectively.
“I’m excited to have Ron join our staff and help lead our secondary,” Morris said. “His time working with coach Chavis along with his knowledge and experience in the SEC are invaluable. He will be a big part of our defensive staff having great continuity right away and I’m excited to see his impact on the recruiting trail.”
Smith was also the Director of Recruiting under Morris at SMU, a position and experience that should be to his advantage as he joins the Hogs staff.
“My family and I are thrilled to be a part of Coach Morris’ staff at the University of Arkansas,” he said. “The fan base and excitement around the program right now is truly amazing. I’m looking forward to working with our student-athletes on being the best that they can be.”
With these additions, Morris now has a complete coaching staff, including the NCAA’s newly-allowed 10th on-field assistant coach. Morris has elected to have 5 offensive assistants and 5 defensive assistants.