"Sam Pittman has earned a reputation as one of the finest offensive line coaches and one of the most relentless recruiters in the nation," said Bielema. "His time with Jim Chaney is another bonus as we move forward with the development of our offensive philosophy.
"He has been a part of great programs where he played a major role in assembling highly ranked recruiting classes. He has demonstrated the ability to help linemen make remarkable improvement in a short amount of time. He also is able to relate to his players and simplify the game for them, which will benefit our aggressive offensive attack."
"I've known Jim for a long time just through recruiting," Pittman said. "We were both recruited to the same college, Central Missouri. We've known each other for a long time and we've had some good recruiting battles. We stayed in the same motel when we both recruited St. Louis and got to know each other.
"This year was wonderful. He's a very knowledgeable man and a very good person. If I didn't care about him and think very highly of him, I wouldn't want to work for him again. I have a lot of respect for him and his family."
The 2011 North Carolina team, with Pittman having been promoted to associate head coach, averaged 6.3 yards per play in the regular season, the second-best mark in the ACC. The UNC offensive line helped running back Giovani Bernard to 101.8 yards per game, a mark that led all NCAA freshmen and included seven 100-yard rushing games. Bernard's 14 rushing touchdowns ranked second nationally among freshmen.
Named one of the nation's top 25 recruiters by ESPN.com, Pittman twice signed the No. 2-rated offensive tackle in the country with Alex Hurst in 2010 and Kiaro Holt in 2011. Hurst, who started all 12 games at left tackle for UNC as a sophomore during the 2011 season, joined teammate and left guard Jonathan Cooper as the first Tar Heel tandem to earn All-ACC lineman honors since 1993.
"If you want to be the best coach, you better get the best players," Pittman said. "I enjoy it.
"I love a challenge and recruiting is certainly a challenge. In the SEC, it's very challenging. I like to meet people and get the best players in the country so I can look like the best football coach. It's fun."
Pittman also developed offensive lineman Garrett Reynolds, who earned second team All-ACC honors in 2008 and was selected in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
Pittman joined the Tar Heels after four seasons as the offensive line coach at Northern Illinois from 2003-06, including three seasons as assistant head coach from 2004-06. During that time frame, the Huskies produced a pair of standout rushers in Garrett Wolfe and Michael Turner.
Wolfe led the nation in rushing with 1,928 yards in 2006, while Turner, who has earned two Pro Bowl selections with the Atlanta Falcons and has led the NFC in rushing in 2010 and 2011, finished second in the nation as a senior at Northern Illinois in 2003 with 1,648 yards.
Pittman's first stint as offensive line coach for Northern Illinois was for two years, from 1994-95. Pittman also previously coached the offensive linemen at Kansas, Missouri, Western Michigan and Oklahoma (1997-98). He also coached offensive tackles and tight ends at Cincinnati.
Before coaching at NIU, Pittman spent two seasons as the head coach at Hutchinson Community College from 1992-93 after serving as the school's offensive line coach in 1991. He was a head coach in the high school ranks at Trenton High School in Missouri from 1989-90 and at Princeton High School, also in Missouri from 1987-88. He began his coaching career with a two-year stint as a student assistant at Pittsburg State from 1984-85, followed by one season as an assistant coach at Beggs High School in Oklahoma.
He graduated from Grove High School and attended Arkansas football games as a senior. Before that, he came to Lou Holtz football camps in Fayetteville and hoped to play for the Razorbacks.
"Unfortunately I wasn't a good enough player to play there," Pittman said. "Of all the places in the country, the University of Arkansas is where my wife and I wanted to be, and we're very fortunate."
Pittman played defensive end at Pittsburg State, where he was a first-team NAIA All-American and twice earned all-conference recognition. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1986 and was inducted into the PSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998. He is married to the former Jamie Conrad.
Sam Pittman Coaching History
Dec. 2012 Arkansas (Offensive Line)
2012 Tennessee (Offensive Line)
2011 North Carolina (Associate Head Coach/Offensive Line)
2007-10 North Carolina (Offensive Line)
2004-06 Northern Illinois (Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line)
2003 Northern Illinois (Offensive Line)
2001 Kansas (Offensive Line)
2000 Missouri (Offensive Line)
1999 Western Michigan (Offensive Line)
1997-98 Oklahoma (Offensive Line)
1996 Cincinnati (Offensive Tackles/Tight Ends)
1994-95 Northern Illinois (Offensive Line)
1992-93 Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College (Head Coach)
1991 Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College (Offensive Line)
1989-90 Trenton (Mo.) High School (Head Coach)
1987-88 Princeton (Mo.) High School (Head Coach)
1986 Beggs (Okla.) High School (Assistant Coach)
1984-85 Pittsburg State (Student Coach)
Birthdate: Nov. 28, 1961
Home Town: El Reno, Okla.
Family: Wife, Jamie
Bowl Games: Independence Bowl, 2011; Music City Bowl, 2010; Meineke Car Care Bowl, 2009; Meineke Car Care Bowl, 2008; Poinsettia Bowl, 2006; Silicon Valley Classic, 2004