Coach Expected To Be Named Today
Sources close to the program said Sunday night South Alabama's John Pelphrey would be introduced as Arkansas' next coach today, one week after Dana Altman took the same job. The Creighton University coach changed his mind the next day. One source said Arkansas would introduce Pelphrey at a 3 p.m. news conference today. The source said Arkansas' players would meet with Pelphrey before the news conference at 2 p.m. Multiple calls to officials in Arkansas' sports information department went unreturned Sunday night. Another source said Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles called South Alabama athletic director Joe Gottfried early Sunday to ask permission to speak with Pelphrey. The two spoke later on Sunday and Pelphrey accepted an offer from Broyles, the source said. Pelphrey doesn't entirely fit the criteria Arkansas submitted to Parker Executive Search, the search firm the university hired. Mainly, he hasn't experienced sustained success. In five seasons at South Alabama, only his last two have ended with at least 20 wins. He is 80-67 at South Alabama, with one NCAA Tournament appearance (2006) and one NIT appearance (2007). The 38-year-old does favor an up-tempo style, though. Throughout his career, his teams have relied on fast breaks and have pressed in a variety of ways. Before arriving in Mobile, Ala., Pelphrey spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Florida under Billy Donovan. He also spent one season as an assistant coach at both Marshall and Oklahoma State. Pelphrey started 90 of 114 games as a player at Kentucky in the late 1980s and early '90s. This hiring would end the two-week search that began when Broyles fired Stan Heath on March 26.
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