Sam Pittman

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Arkansas' Sam Pittman gets raise and extension

New Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman, who was contacted by Nick Saban about the recent opening at Alabama, has received a raise and contract extension. (Photo: Knoxville News-Sentinel)

New Arkansas assistant Sam Pittman, who was recently contacted by Nick Saban at Alabama, has received a raise and contract extension. (Photo: Knoxville News-Sentinel)

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen Alabama’s offensive line job came earlier this month, one of Nick Saban’s first calls was to Arkansas assistant Sam Pittman.

Pittman, who had joined Bret Bielema’s staff just two months before, stayed loyal to his new boss and the move paid off with a contract extension and hefty raise.

According to Robbie Nieswanger of the Northwest Arkansas Times, Pittman will now be paid $500,000 (up from $275,000) and received a two-year contract extension through June 30, 2016.

Bielema was excited to hang onto his new line coach, especially when Saban was the one calling.

“It’s been good to keep some guys, especially when you get in some in-conference battles,” Bielema said. “I know this: my coaches think we have a great situation here. I think they like being here. I think they’re very intrigued and excited about the environment, the culture.”

Pittman is now the third-highest paid member of the Razorback staff. Coordinators Jim Chaney and Chris Ash earn $550,000 per year.

Pittman spent the 2012 season on Derek Dooley’s staff at Tennessee. Before that, he had a five-year stint at North Carolina (2007-11).

A 19-year coaching veteran, Pittman’s career also includes stops at Northern Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Western Michigan, Oklahoma and Cincinnati.

 

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Alabama or USC: Could Pat Hill be returning to the college game?

Pat Hill could be in line to return college coaching as offensive line coach at Alabama or USC. (Photo: Bryan Cole/The Collegian-Fresno State)

Pat Hill could be in line to return college coaching as offensive line coach at Alabama or USC. (Photo: Bryan Cole/The Collegian-Fresno State)

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ould Pat Hill be returning to the college game?

It looks like a strong possibility.

Hill, the former Fresno State head coach, was fired in December 2011 after 15 seasons with the Bulldogs. He spent last season as the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line coach.

The Falcons offensive line performed well and Hill admits he had fun coaching in the professional ranks, but sources indicate that he is itching to be a college head coach again and his best route may be a return through college.

Enter Nick Saban and Alabama, who just so happens to have a coaching history with Hill and is in need an offensive line coach following Jeff Stoutland’s departure to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hill has tremendous respect for Saban, dating back to the early 90s when they both coached under Bill Belicheck on the Cleveland Browns’ staff. Saban and Hill were in Cleveland together from 1992-94 with Saban as defensive coordinator and Hill the offensive line and tight ends coach.

Just after Stoutland left for Philadelphia, Saban reached out to Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman but was rebuffed. Sources indicate that he’s also spoken to Hill and that a deal could be currently in the works.

If nothing happens with Alabama, USC may also be a possibility. Speculation is rampant that USC is in the market for an offensive line coach, with current Trojan offensive line coach James Cregg being reassigned to tight ends coach or let go entirely.

Lane Kiffin recently tried to hire Oregon State offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh but was turned down.

Like Saban, Kiffin also has a history with Hill. Kiffin served as a GA on Hill’s staff at Fresno State in 1997-98, and hosted Hill during his first spring practice as the Trojans’ coach in 2010.

Hill recently told the Fresno Bee that he enjoyed his season in Atlanta and away from the limelight.

“I had a lot of fun, and I didn’t have to talk to the media once,” he said with a laugh.

“I’ll be here for another season, for sure.”

That was before the Alabama or USC job openings were known. Could a job the caliber of Alabama or USC be enough to change his mind?

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