Van Horn Stays Loyal To Arkansas Program

FAYETTEVILLE -- Either Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn is extremely loyal. Or, he's a blooming idiot.

Say what?

Everyone knows Texas A$M was -- and still might be -- ready to throw a wad of money at Van Horn to convince him to coach its baseball team.

Many of us have heard the figures being tossed around. Our grapevine with strong, reliable roots, says the salary range is from $750,000 to $900,000 per year for seven full calendars.

Still ...

Van Horn repeatedly has flat-out said, "No, thanks."

Has he lost his mind? Is he crazy?

Quick, get Nurse Ratched!

Dude needs a straitjacket and padded cell.

This subject again was broached Monday at the NCAA Austin (Texas) Regional.

Arkansas had just lost 5-2 against top-seeded Texas in the championship game.

Yo Dave, what about the Texas A&M job?

"Sheesh," Van Horn said.

Here we go again ...

"It's a great job ... Somebody's going to enjoy it," Van Horn said. "I've got a great job here."

End of discussion.

Deal is, Van Horn really and truly means it.

So help him polygraph.

Van Horn has proven beyond the shadow of a backstop he's an honest dude who doesn't have a hidden agenda.

Maybe that's why the media appreciates him. He shoots straight from the hip. Doesn't speak with forked tongue.

Nope, it's not about the money.

It's about being happy. Maybe, it's about being loyal.

Don't know. Just a guess.

Van Horn, fortysomething and married with children, said he is looking forward to a long future with Arkansas, and only Arkansas.

Van Horn, a former Razorbacks baseball player and assistant coach, was/is being courted by Texas A$M because he's one of the best coaches -- Texas coach Augie Garrido called him "brilliant" last week -- in America.

And it's apparent the upper echelon of Aggie$ don't mind opening up their vaults to get him.

But it won't work.

"I'm really happy at Arkansas," Van Horn said. "I'm not into starting any rumors, playing any games.

"I just want to stay here."

Repeating ...

Nope, it's not about the money.

It's about being happy. Maybe, it's about being loyal.

Don't know. Just a guess.

"Things are fine here with me," Van Horn said. "Arkansas has been good to me. I'm finally getting comfortable here. It takes a little time ... it takes time for people to warm up to you, get to know your style and what you're all about.

"No. 1, I like it here. I don't want to start over again somewhere.

"Now, I hope I'm here another 15 years."

Take that A$M and the certified check you rode in on!

Arkansas is a job Dave Van Horn really likes.

"I'm satisfied at where we're at as far as the success we've had the first three years," Van Horn said. "You could have some pretty good teams and not get as far as we have."

Preach on, brother!

In three seasons at Arkansas, Van Horn has guided his teams to two regional tournaments and a trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

His first ballclub went 35-22 and wound up in the Austin Regional in 2003. In 2004, the Razorbacks made their first trip to the CWS in 15 years and finished 45-24.

This season, the Razorbacks went 39-22 -- three wins away from Omaha again -- and had Texas on the canvas before being punched out because of a lack of depth in pitching.

And ...

Arkansas could do better.

That possibility excites Van Horn.

"We've definitely got to shore up our pitching," he said. "Get a little deeper at some positions.

"We'll be all right.

"I feel like our program is in really good shape."

It is as long as Van Horn stays around.


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