Sullivan Latest To Interview At Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE -- It's three down and at least two to go in Arkansas' search for its final football assistant vacancy.

Alabama-Birmingham offensive coordinator Pat Sullivan was in town Wednesday to interview for the position. Former NFL offensive coordinator Alex Wood and former Tennessee offensive coordinator Randy Sanders already have interviewed on campus.

Arkansas is searching for either a quarterbacks coach or a receivers coach as new offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn will be in charge of whichever position isn't filled.

"We have two more interviewees coming," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "It's probably not going to be this week. It'll definitely be after Christmas. I want to take a breather myself.

"It's going good. It's just long and tedious trying to get the right fit."

Nutt and Sullivan seemed to be in the holiday spirit as they smiled and joked with each other inside the Broyles Center on Wednesday. Nutt said he was most impressed with how "close" Sullivan is with players after UAB senior quarterback Darrell Hackney phoned twice during the interview.

Sullivan arrived in the morning and met with Hogs staffers, including Malzahn, before leaving on an early evening flight back to Alabama.

"We had a nice visit and we're going to stay in touch," said Sullivan, who won the Heisman Trophy as Auburn's quarterback in 1971 and played five seasons in the NFL. "We're going to enjoy Christmas and be with our families and be in touch after that."

It was Sullivan's first trip to Fayetteville and he noted the "wonderful" facilities and "great" people. He was Auburn's quarterbacks coach from 1986-92 and TCU's head coach from 1992-97 before arriving at UAB in 1999. While at Auburn, he coached five seasons with Hogs defensive coordinator Reggie Herring. Hogs defensive line coach Tracy Rocker played for the Tigers while Sullivan was there as well.

That's also where he first met Nutt, who would spend a few days in Auburn each spring visiting Herring, a graduate assistant with Nutt at Oklahoma State. Sullivan also knows other members of the Razorbacks' staff, like offensive line coach Mike Markuson, from the recruiting trail.

"They said nothing but wonderful things," Sullivan said. "I think it's something that I'll go back and talk to my wife about."

Familiarity with the current staff may give Sullivan a leg up on the others, but Nutt would not indicate anything one way or another.

"(Sullivan) brings a thorough knowledge of the quarterback game," Nutt said. "The teaching of fundamentals. He's been there as a head coach, a play caller, an offensive coordinator, a quarterback coach. He's a team player, but most importantly, a true developer and a true role model to young people."

Nutt would not comment on other candidates, but sources have mentioned Louisiana-Monroe offensive coordinator Todd Berry, Houston Texans receivers coach Kippy Brown, San Diego Chargers quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer and former Arkansas assistant Fitz Hill as possibilities to interview.

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