Robb Smith is not expected to return to Arkansas next season.
The Razorbacks defensive coordinator is expected to become the new defensive coordinator at Wake Forest, according to a report from Football Scoop, which cites sources. The news outlet reports that no deal is complete at this time.
Smith has been Arkansas’ defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach since 2014 after spending the 2013 season as the Buccaneers’ linebackers coach. Prior to his stop in Tampa Bay, Smith was at Rutgers under then-head coach Greg Schiano from 2009-2012 in various capacities.
Arkansas’ defense struggled this season under Smith, finishing the year ranked as the SEC’s No. 8 defense while allowing 426.6 yards per game. The Razorbacks defense also finished 2016 on a down note, giving up 35 second-half points to Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl.
“We can take this next week to really take an inventory on everything: Offense, defense, special teams,” Coach Bret Bielema said following Arkansas’ 35-24 loss. “Personnel. The close of recruiting. Staff. What we’re asking our guys to do and the offseason program, as well as build character for the season itself.”
The Razorbacks finished as the SEC’s 10th-best rushing defense (205.46 ypg) and 8th-best passing defense (221.2 ypg) in 2016.
Smith will replace ex-Wake Forest defensive coordinator Mike Elko, who was hired by Notre Dame in the offseason.