Arkansas will introduce Frater John L. Smith (Alpha-Chi, Univ. of Louisville) as head coach Tuesday, replacing Bobby Petrino who was fired earlier this month.
"I am tremendously excited to have this special opportunity to return to Arkansas and lead the Razorback football program," Frater John said in a statement.
Smith coached with Petrino at Arkansas, Michigan State, Louisville and Utah State and was the special teams coach at Arkansas for three seasons before leaving four months ago to take over at Weber State.
Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long fired Petrino on April 10 and started looking for a new coach. In the end, he came back to Smith - a person with head coaching experience and familiarly with the Razorbacks' staff, one who will allow that staff to remain intact for at least the 2012 season.
Frater John leaves Weber State without coaching a game for the FCS school. The 63-year-old Smith has a 132-86 record as a head coach, with stops at Idaho (53-21), Utah State (16-18), Louisville (41-21) and Michigan State (22-26). He was replaced at Louisville by Petrino after the 2002 season and fired by Michigan State after the 2006 season.
In 2003, he was honored as the Big Ten Coach of the Year after posting the most wins by a first-year coach in Michigan State history, finishing 8-4.
Arkansas now hopes to continue its recent good fortunes under the leadership of a familiar and comforting face in Smith.
"Throughout the spring, the assistant coaches and student-athletes have shown incredible focus and character, which we will use to build on as we work to achieve our goals for 2012," Smith said.
Read more about Frater John L. Smith in the Fall 2002 edition of THE TEKE.