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John L. Smith won't return as Arkansas coach

2:17 PM, Nov 24, 2012   |    comments
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Fayetteville, AR (Sports Network) - Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long announced Saturday that football coach John L. Smith will not return next season.

Long said in a statement released by the university that he met with Smith and informed him the school "would be making a change in leadership."

The Razorbacks' forgetful season concluded with Friday's 20-13 loss to LSU.

"I have great respect for Coach Smith and I thank him for the sincere commitment he has shown our program," Long continued in the statement. "He made a difficult decision in uncertain times to return from his alma mater (Weber State) to guide the young men in our football program, and I will always be grateful for his efforts."

The school hired Smith in April to replace Bobby Petrino, who was fired due to the aftermath of his motorcycle accident earlier in the month. A female employee of the Arkansas athletic department, Jessica Dorrell, was a passenger on the motorcycle and it was later revealed that Petrino was having an affair with her.

Smith was signed to a 10-month contract and will be reassigned as a consultant through the end of his deal on Feb. 23, 2013.

"I have enjoyed guiding this group and I am extremely proud of how everyone in our program stuck together and showed tremendous character by competing throughout the season," Smith said in a statement.

The Razorbacks began the season ranked 10th in the nation and moved up to No. 8 before a stunning overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 8 dropped them out of the polls.

Arkansas finished the season with a 4-8 record, including a 2-6 mark in the SEC.

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