Razorbacks Realign Coaching Staff

FAYETTEVILLE -- The make-up of Arkansas' football staff took on a new look with the official announcement of several role changes Friday.

The most interesting involves Louis Campbell, who will trade in his office shoes for cleats after switching from director of football operations to secondary coach.

"I'm excited about it," said Campbell, who will be replaced as director of football operations by his assistant, Rob Taylor. "I don't think that anybody who's coached ever completely dismisses it from his system. Things like the competition during the game or the locker room after the game or the camaraderie of the staff, those things are always in you."

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said Campbell's tremendous "experience and knowledge" makes him an instant asset to the staff. A strong relationship with defensive coordinator Reggie Herring doesn't hurt either. Campbell was Oklahoma State's defensive coordinator while Herring was an assistant for the Cowboys in 1985.

"That was a long time ago, but at the same time, we do know each other," Campbell said. "We haven't really stayed in close contact through the years, but when he came here last year, there was an obvious bond there. I know what he's about and he knows what I'm about.

"I think it's going to be a good working relationship and I'm looking forward to helping him achieve the kind of defense we all want to have."

Campbell began his coaching career in 1973 at Alabama under legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. He spent three years coaching defensive backs at SMU before returning to Alabama in 1980, where he coached defensive backs though 1984.

Chris Vaughn (safeties/recruiting coordinator) and Clifton Ealy (tight ends) have been reassigned to newly created positions within the administration.

Vaughn will be the director of on-campus recruiting, which includes coordinating official and unofficial visits as well as hosting prospects at Razorbacks football games. Ealy will be the director of high school relations, serving as the program's liaison between junior college and high school coaches as well as organizing the annual high school coaches' clinic and the Houston Nutt Football Camp.

Both will finish recruiting duties through Feb. 1.

"Just about every team in the (Southeastern Conference) and the Big 10 have these positions," Nutt said. "We're going to start to expand (recruiting) a little bit and really zero in. These two guys will do a great job with relationships, studying it and getting us a board ready to recruit.

"These two guys give us the luxury to take recruiting to another level."

James Shibest, who coached receivers the past two seasons, will move to tight ends, but keep his role as special teams coach. Nutt said special teams has improved in every area since Shibest took over those duties in 2000. He was tight ends coach during his first two seasons at Arkansas, where he was a standout receiver from 1984-87.

In addition, quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Roy Wittke will not be retained for the 2006 season. He spent three seasons at Arkansas after a 13-year stint at Eastern Illinois.

"It wasn't an easy decision to make because of the quality of the individual involved," Nutt said. "I'm grateful to Roy for his contributions to our program in his tenure here."

The changes leaves Arkansas with only one spot remaining to fill. After introducing former Springdale High coach Gus Malzahn as offensive coordinator on Friday, Nutt said they're looking for the best "fit" for the program, which will either be a receivers or quarterbacks coach.

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