FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas head football coach Houston Nutt announced staff changes for the 2006 season on Friday. Quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Roy Wittke will not be retained for the 2006 season and assistant coaches Chris Vaughn, Clifton Ealy and James Shibest will take on new duties in the Razorback football program. In addition, director of football operations Louis Campbell will return to the field as a defensive assistant coach and his assistant Rob Taylor will assume Campbell’s post as the football program’s top administrator.
Wittke served three seasons (2003-05) on the Razorback staff as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. His tenure included two years with former Razorback quarterback and current Jacksonville Jaguars’ wide receiver Matt Jones.
“After much thoughtful consideration, I have determined that it is time to move in a different direction on the coaching staff,” Nutt said. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make because of the quality of the individual involved. I’m grateful to Roy for his contributions to our program in his tenure here. He has been the consummate professional and has worked tirelessly to help the Razorback program. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Roy and his family and wish them the very best in the future.”
Vaughn will move from his position as safeties coach and recruiting coordinator to director of on-campus recruiting. In his new position, Vaughn will administrate the Razorbacks’ on-campus recruiting efforts including coordinating official and unofficial visits as well as the hosting of prospects at Razorback football games. Vaughn was a graduate assistant under Nutt in 1999 and joined the full-time staff in 2000. He has spent the last seven seasons on the defensive staff working with outside linebackers (2000-04) and safeties (2001-03, 2005).
“Chris has done an outstanding job with our program and I know that he will continue that in his new role,” Nutt said. “He has a great passion for the Razorbacks and for recruiting. He will be able to use that to help ensure that when prospects come on our campus that these young men and their families will walk away with an understanding of the many great things that the University of Arkansas and the Razorback football program have to offer.”
Ealy will transition from his tight end coaching duties to become the Razorbacks’ director of high school relations. Ealy will be the football program’s liaison with high school and junior college coaches including organizing the annual high school coaches’ clinic and the Houston Nutt Football Camp. Ealy is in his third stint with the Razorback football staff. He was a graduate assistant with the Razorbacks in 1987-88 before coming to Arkansas with Nutt in 1998. Ealy coached bandits and rovers from 1998-99. In 2003, he returned to the UA staff to coach tight ends.
“Clifton will be a great ambassador for our program around the state and region,” Nutt said. “He grew up in Arkansas and already has forged relationships with many of the high school coaches in the state. It is important that we continue to maintain good relationships with the high school and junior college programs in our area. I’m confident that Clifton will do an excellent job in that role.”
Campbell will return to the field as the Razorbacks’ secondary coach after spending the past eight seasons as Arkansas’ director of football operations. Prior to accepting that position, Campbell spent eight seasons with the Razorbacks as an assistant coach under Jack Crowe, Joe Kines and Danny Ford. He served a brief stint as the Hogs’ secondary coach under Nutt at the end of the 1999 season when he helped the Razorbacks post a 27-6 win over Texas in the 2000 Cotton Bowl. A former Razorback defensive back, Campbell has more than 30 years of college coaching experience on his resume.
“Louis has been an integral part of Razorback football as a coach and an administrator for the past 16 years,” Nutt said. “He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and insight that few other coaches can offer. I’m excited about the opportunity to have him working directly with our players on the field.”
Taylor will assume the director of football operations title after serving as assistant director of football operations for the past two seasons. Prior to his role as assistant director of football operations, Taylor worked in the Razorbacks’ academic support unit.
In another coaching staff adjustment, Arkansas assistant coach James Shibest will take over responsibilities for the Razorback tight ends. Shibest joined the UA staff as a tight ends coach and special teams coordinator in 2000. In 2002, he took over the reins of the Razorbacks’ wide receiver corps. The former UA wide receiver will maintain his oversight of the Hogs’ special teams units.