Arkansas has made Paul Rhoads’ promotion to defensive coordinator official.
Rhoads, who will begin his third stint as a defensive coordinator, served as Arkansas’ defensive backs coach this past season after joining Bielema’s staff last February. Rhoads replaces Robb Smith, who resigned and became Minnesota’s defensive coordinator last week.
“With the hiring of Paul as our defensive coordinator, we are gaining a defensive coach who has coached at the highest level as both a head coach and a defensive coordinator in some of the most competitive conferences in the nation,” Bielema said in the release. “When I first hired him as our defensive backs coach, I knew of his outstanding reputation and his experience. But in Paul’s time here at Arkansas, I’ve been able to see the way he’s developed our secondary and how our guys react to him. I have full confidence in him leading our defense. I was excited to share with our team Monday night that he will be the voice and coordinate our defense moving forward. Our players are very excited about the opportunity to get back to work for the upcoming season under his leadership. In the next few weeks, Paul and I will complete the defensive staff as part of our continued commitment to be much improved as a team heading into the future.”
“I’m honored and appreciative of this opportunity given to me by Coach Bielema,” Rhoads said in the release. “We are looking forward to finishing up a great 2017 recruiting class followed by rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on our defense.”
In his nine combined seasons as a defensive coordinator at Auburn (2008) and Pittsburgh (2000-07), Rhoads has guided his units to top-30 finishes nationally in scoring defense six times.
Arkansas is expected to shift to a 3-4 scheme next season after allowing 31.1 points per game this past year.
— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) January 19, 2017