Hogs See No Knocks On Wood

FAYETTEVILLE -- The search to fill Arkansas' final football staff vacancy will come to a close this week, possibly as soon as Wednesday.

That's the day former NFL coach Alex Wood will arrive in town with his wife, Rosa Wood, for a second meeting with Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt and his staff.

"When I came down there the first time (Dec. 19), my wife didn't have a chance to come with me," Wood said Monday night. "So she wanted to come down and take a look at everything before we make this move."

Wood said his hiring "looks like" a done deal, although no formal offer has been made. If everything goes as expected, Wood's duties will be as quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator. Recently hired offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn will handle receivers.

Wood spent six seasons in the NFL and last was the Arizona Cardinals' offensive coordinator in 2004. He also was a receivers coach for the Cincinnati Bengals and quarterbacks coach with the Minnesota Vikings. Two of his more notable former pupils are Bengals receiver Chad Johnson and Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper.

His college career is equally impressive. Wood was head coach at James Madison University from 1995-98 after serving as an assistant at several schools including Wake Forest, Miami, Washington State and Iowa. He also played running back at Iowa from 1975-78.

These are all things Nutt certainly has learned about Wood in the past few weeks. However, messages left for Nutt on Monday were not immediately returned.

"What has impressed me is how many calls coach Nutt has made about me," Wood said. "He called a lot of people and it's really flattering to know how hard he's worked to check out my background. He definitely did his research."

Of course, there's a flip side to every coin.

"I've done my homework on coach Nutt, too," Wood said. "The guy obviously has an outstanding reputation in the coaching profession. I think his record speaks for itself. He's come in there and done a great job and has it really primed there for a bright future, starting with this year coming up."

That future likely will include Wood, who bested at least two other candidates for the position. Arkansas also had on-campus interviews with former Tennessee offensive coordinator Randy Sanders and Alabama-Birmingham offensive coordinator Pat Sullivan last month.

"It sounds like the more people (Nutt) talked to about me, the more excited he got," Wood said. "And the more I talked to him, the more excited I got about it. Then, you go there and you see what Arkansas has to offer, like the facilities and everything, and it is exciting.

"This isn't one of those things where we're just feeling them out. We like what's going on there with the program and that's why we are very interested."

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