Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ken Hatfield for Arkansas Athletic Director

Not a publicity hound: I had a hard time finding a good picture of Hatflield, had to settle for B&W.

I suggest Ken Hatfield be the next Athletic Director at the University of Arkansas. Hatfield has a reputation as a man of integrity and a good man to work for. He is already in the area (Springdale). Most of all, Hatfield is a winner- he is the winningest football coach in U of A history. Here are some things I picked up on the web about him...

Only Nutt, Holtz and Hatfield took the Hogs to six straight bowl games. Hatfield did it in six years (1984-89) and compiled a record of 55-17-1 (.760). Holtz boasts Arkansas’ second-best winning mark of .735 (60-21-2) and Frank Broyles is third at .708 (114-58-5).

Nutt is sixth in winning percentage (.610) but his record of 64-41 ranks second in UA history for victories. In his ninth season, Nutt’s tenure is third-longest behind Frank Broyles (19 seasons) and Fred Thomsen (13).

Hatfield was not just a winner at the U of A, he was a winner across the board, except for the end at Rice. He was one of only three active coaches to lead three different programs to top-20 seasons and was the only active Division IA coach to gain 10-win seasons at three different schools.

Even at Rice, there were some great successes. In his first Rice season, he became only the second Southwest Conference coach to win a league championship at two different schools. Rice's share of the 1994 SWC title was its first since 1957.

It was the same story in 1996. Hatfield became the first Western Athletic Conference mentor to win coach of the year honors at two league schools when the Houston Chronicle accorded him that honor following the Owls' 7-4 season. Hatfield was head coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy when the Falcons entered the WAC in 1980, and three years later he was the coach of the year, not only in the league but nationally as well.

The national coach of the year in 1983 at Air Force, he has been successful at every coaching stop. He led the Air Force to successive bowl trips in 1982-83, then took Arkansas to dominance in the SWC with six bowl trips in his six seasons in Fayetteville. The Houston Post named Hatfield the SWC's coach of the decade in the 1980's. The Razorbacks were league champions in 1988 and '89 before he moved on to Clemson. By winning another title in his first season back in the league, Hatfield joined a short list of SWC coaches who won three straight titles.

Clemson remained one of the best programs in college football under Hatfield. His first team in 1990 compiled a 10-2 record, including a 30-0 win over Illinois in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa, Fla. The '91 squad won the ACC championship, and the '93 team went 8-3 to win a berth in the Peach Bowl vs. Kentucky.

And of course, Hatfield first rose to prominence by turning around the program at the Air Force Academy.

Hatfield is the man who can guide the U of A Athletic Department out of the very serious mess it is in. He can find the right kind of men to be coaches and give them the support they need to stay here. His roots are U of A roots. Let's back Ken Hatflield for A.D..


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