Man, college football is a truly sublime sport sometimes. There are days and weeks and moments where you hear a piece of news, and simply can’t believe it’s real. Sometimes the truth really does seem stranger than fiction.
A perfect example of this phenomenon popped up yesterday, when a disgraced former coach took a disgraced administrative position at Arkansas. Basically, it was a match made in disgrace heaven.
The job is believed (though not confirmed) to be the role of “On Campus recruiting coordinator” a position which was last held by a former Arkansas volleyball player named Jessica Dorrell. By now you know that Dorrell was also the mistress of Razorbacks football coach Bobby Petrino, and got the job in large part because of her, ahem, “interpersonal relationship” with him. When it was revealed that Dorrell was with Petrino on the epic motorcycle accident that eventually cost him his job, she too left the university also.
Well, apparently Dorrell’s position has been finally filled, and filled in the most unintentionally funny way possible.
Why’s that? Well, because according to Northwest Arkansas Online, the new On-Campus Recruiting Coordinator at Arkansas is…
For those of you scoring at home, yes, we’re talking about that Nick Holt. The same Nick Holt who was fired after his defense allowed 453 yards (106th nationally) and 35.9 points per game (108th nationally) during the 2011 season. And the same Nick Holt whose defense had one of the worst performances in major college football history in last year’s Alamo Bowl, allowing Robert Griffin and Baylor to put up 777 yards of total offense in a 67-56 Bears victory.
Again, you cannot make this stuff.
Here’s a little from the NWAOnline.com report:
Nick Holt, who spent the last three seasons as defensive coordinator at Washington, has been hired to an administrative position within Arkansas’ football program, according to a source.
A report on the Seattle Times website also states Holt is now working with the Razorbacks.
The job is believed to the same one held by Jessica Dorrell, who agreed to a mutual separation with the university in April for her role in a series of events that led to the firing of Bobby Petrino as the Razorbacks’ head coach.
Arkansas began searching for a replacement to the position of “on-campus recruiting coordinator” in May and has yet to publicly fill the position.
Now again, no one has officially confirmed that the job Holt was hired for was the one Dorrell left, but if you read the tea leaves it kind of makes sense. There are only so many administrative positions that Arkansas can conceivably have, and as best as we can tell, this one has gone unfilled since the Dorrell-Petrino controversy in early May.
It also makes sense from a logistical standpoint too. Holt has worked for new Arkansas head coach John L. Smith before, in stops at Idaho and Louisville and as bad as things ended for him at Washington, this would still be a home run hire for the Razorbacks. After all the public embarrassment that came when the facts of the Dorrell hiring came out, the school had to take their time, and ensure that they filled the position with the best possible candidate available. It’s hard to argue that filling an administrative position that paid Dorrell a little over $55,000 last year with a former major college defensive coordinator was about as good as Arkansas could’ve possibly envisioned.
As for Holt, the question remains: Could Washington’s Alamo Bowl meltdown really have cost him this much? I mean, yes it was bad, and yes he deserved to be fired, which is exactly what happened on December 31. Still, the firing happened early enough on where it’s hard to believe that someone with his resume (defensive coordinator at Washington, time spent on Pete Carroll’s staff at USC) couldn’t have done better than an administrative gig. Even if he wasn’t hired as a defensive coordinator, was he really that toxic that he couldn’t get a position job somewhere? You mean to tell that at the very least he couldn’t have been an asset to a school in the MAC, WAC or Conference USA? Really!?!?!
Then again, after what happened in San Antonio last December, maybe it’s best that Holt stays away from actual on the field coaching for awhile. Things really couldn’t have ended much worse.
Still, this story almost seems too good to be true. Only it is.
Welcome to the sublime world of college football.
For all his opinion, analysis and insight on college football and beyond, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.