Asst. HC/Rec. Coord./Offensive Line
Assoc. HC/Offensive Line
Asst. HC/Offensive Line
Offensive Tackles/Tight Ends
|1992-93||Hutchinson (Kan.) CC|
|1991||Hutchinson (Kan.) CC|
|1989-90||Trenton (Mo.) HS|
|1987-88||Princeton (Mo.) HS|
|1986||Beggs (Okla.) HS|
Sam Pittman, who is universally considered one of the nation’s best offensive line coaches and recruiters, is in his third season as associate head coach, recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach.
Since 2013, eight offensive linemen coached by Pittman have been drafted, including two first-round picks. In 2014, Ja’Wuan James was selected 19th overall by the Miami Dolphins and Travis Swanson became the highest Razorback center draft pick in school history when he was picked 76th overall by the Detroit Lions. In 2013, Jonathan Cooper, who was tutored by Pittman for four seasons at North Carolina, was the seventh overall pick to the Arizona Cardinals, the earliest an offensive guard had been taken since 1986.
In each of the past three seasons, a Pittman-coached offensive line has led the SEC in fewest sacks allowed. The 2014 Razorbacks allowed just 1.08 sacks per game while Arkansas allowed 0.67 sacks per game in 2013. In 2012, Pittman coached the Tennessee offensive line that led the SEC with just 0.67 sacks allowed per game.
Pittman has vastly improved the Razorback offensive line since arriving on The Hill in 2013.
The 2014 campaign saw four Razorback underclassmen earn All-SEC honors. Guard Sebastian Tretola was named to the ESPN.com All-SEC team, tackle Dan Skipper and guard Denver Kirkland each earned All-SEC honorable mention recognition from the Associated Press and freshman center Frank Ragnow was named to the coaches’ SEC All-Freshman team. Ragnow was also selected as one of the best true freshman in the nation when he was named to the Sporting News All-True Freshman team.
Last year, the Razorback offensive line helped pave the way for a pair of 1,000-yard rushers, the only team in the nation to have two players break the century mark. The starting unit weighed in at an average of 328.4 pounds per player, the largest offensive line in all of FBS and bigger than every starting line in the NFL. The group also protected quarterback Brandon Allen, allowing him to throw for 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions – the lowest interception total by a Razorback quarterback since 1992.
In his first season at Arkansas, Pittman tutored a first-team All-American and Rimington Trophy finalist as well as two Freshman All-Americans. Center Swanson led the offensive line and was flanked by true freshmen at both guard positions for the final eight games of the season.
Arkansas led the conference and was sixth in the nation allowing one sack every 37.63 pass attempts. The Razorback offensive line kept opponents out of the backfield all season, and finished first in the SEC and fourth in the NCAA with an average of 3.75 tackles for loss allowed per game.
On the ground, the offensive line paved the way for seven 200-yard rushing games and a team average of 5.28 yards per carry, which was the fourth-highest single-season rushing average in school history. True freshman running back Alex Collins became the first freshman in SEC history to rush for at least 100 yards in three straight games to start a career and finished the season as the conference’s 10th 1,000-yard freshman rusher.
Pittman oversaw the offensive line in 2013 at Tennessee, when the Volunteers led the SEC and ranked fourth in the NCAA in fewest sacks allowed per game, following five seasons coaching the offensive line at North Carolina.
In 2012, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray passed for 3,619 yards and 34 touchdowns. At the time, his touchdowns were the seventh-most in a season in SEC history, and his passing yards ranked 11th in conference history. Bray also broke the Tennessee single-game record with 530 passing yards, a record previously held by Peyton Manning and the second-highest single-game total in SEC history.
The 2011 North Carolina team, with Pittman having been promoted to associate head coach, averaged 6.3 yards per play in the regular season, the second-best mark in the ACC. The UNC offensive line helped running back Giovani Bernard to 101.8 yards per game, a mark that led all NCAA freshmen and included seven 100-yard rushing games. Bernard’s 14 rushing touchdowns ranked second nationally among freshmen.
Pittman joined the Tar Heels after four seasons as the offensive line coach at Northern Illinois from 2003-06, including three seasons as assistant head coach from 2004-06. During that time frame, the Huskies produced a pair of standout rushers in Garrett Wolfe and Michael Turner.
Wolfe led the nation in rushing with 1,928 yards in 2006, while Turner, who earned two Pro Bowl selections with the Atlanta Falcons, led the NFC in rushing in 2010 and 2011 and finished second in the nation as a senior at Northern Illinois in 2003 with 1,648 yards.
Prior to Northern Illinois, Pittman was an assistant coach at Kansas (2001), Missouri (2000), Western Michigan (1999), Oklahoma (1997-98), Cincinnati (1996) and Northern Illinois (1994-95). He was the head coach at Hutchinson (Kan.) CC in 1992-93 and was the school’s offensive line coach in 1991. Pittman was also a high school head coach at Trenton (Mo.) HS (1989-90) and Princeton (Mo.) HS (1987-88). He began his coaching career as a student assistant at Pittsburg State in 1984-85.
Pittman played defensive end at Pittsburg State, where he was a first-team NAIA All-American and twice earned all-conference recognition. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1986 and was inducted into the PSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998. He is married to his wife, Jamie.