Who could be Arkansas’ next strength and conditioning coach? Two familiar names at the top

Arkansas fired football strength and conditoning coach Jamil Walker on Saturday, per reports, a day after the Razorbacks were dominating on both lines by Missouri.

The loss gave the Hogs a 6-6 season, their second best finish in the last seven years, but also a step down from last year’s 8-4 regular-season record. Changes needed to be made and apparently coach Sam Pittman didn’t waste much time in making them.

More could come in the coming weeks. Arkansas’ bowl destination is unknown, but one of the first orders of business is finding a replacement for Walker. Two names jump to the head of the pack. But they won’t be easy to poach.

Tenarius Wright is in his second season running the strength and conditioning program at Illinois for former Arkansas coach Bret Bielema. Wright served as an assistant S&C coach with the Razorbacks when Bielema was in Fayetteville from 2014-17. That means Pittman has familiarity with him, too, as Pittman was offensive line coach with Hogs for a bulk of that tenure. Wright also played four years with the Razorbacks from 2009-12 where he was a part-time starter and steady contributor. He’s also a Memphis native.

Kiero Small was a fullback with Arkansas from 2012-13, spending one season with John L. Smith and another with Bielema. Small is currently the associate strength and conditioning coach at Michigan, working under former Arkansas S&C head Ben Herbert. Running a strength program from the top would be a promotion for Small.

Pittman may or may not look at Wright and Small. He could have someone else in mind. But for a program that longs to return to the days when Wright was a player, it probably can’t hurt to bring in someone familiar with the Hogs way.

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Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire