Sources: Malzahn Offered Prominent Job At UA

SPRINGDALE --Springdale coach Gus Malzahn has been offered a prominent role on the Arkansas offensive coaching staff, possibly as, offensive coordinator, sources close to both Malzahn and the Razorbacks program said Thursday.

The sources indicated Malzahn was considering the offer and should make a decision by the weekend.

Malzahn was on his way back to Springdale from New York on Thursday, and did not return repeated calls seeking comment.

Meanwhile, Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt released a statement to Arkansas football fans, his first public comment on any possible changes.

"I know that over the past two weeks there has been a lot of discussion about what changes may or may not take place in the Razorback football program," Nutt said in the statement, posted on Hogwired.com, Arkansas' official athletic Web site. "While I know that announcements have not come as soon as some expected, I can assure you that we have been working diligently to make the right decisions for our football program.

"I appreciate our fans' patience during this process. I am confident that when decisions are announced in the next few days, Razorback fans will share my optimism for the future of Razorback football."

Some changes such as the firing of quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Roy Wittke and Louis Campbell, director of football operations, moving back into coaching as a secondary coach have been reported but not made official.

Nutt, reached while out of the area recruiting, would not comment on Malzahn. Athletic director Frank Broyles also would not comment on possible changes.

If Malzahn accepts the job and implements his offense, it would be a drastic change for the Razorbacks, who were next to last in the SEC in passing offense while leading the league in rushing offense.

Malzahn's experience is with wide-open, spread-type offenses. He even wrote a book on his offense: "The Hurry-Up, No-Huddle: An Offensive Philosophy."

Malzahn has long been rumored to be heading to the Razorbacks staff after his season was complete, but a scheduled event in New York with quarterback Mitch Mustain might have been a factor in any announcement being delayed.

Mustain, who won the Gatorade National Player of the Year earlier this week, recently reopened his recruitment after orally committing to Arkansas before the season. If Malzahn is named as an assistant at Arkansas, his contact with Mustain --and any other high school players --would be limited by NCAA regulations.

Four other players from Malzahn's Bulldogs have already orally committed to play for Division I schools --Ben Cleveland (Florida), Andrew Norman (Arkansas), Bartley Webb (Notre Dame) and Damian Williams (Florida). Mustain is reported to be considering Notre Dame and Tennessee, along with Arkansas.

Malzahn led the Bulldogs to the Class AAAAA state championship this season, beating West Memphis 54-20 at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium last week. The title was Springdale's first since 1989. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 5 in the latest USA Today high school poll.

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