Think you’ve got what it takes to work in the fast-paced, high-stakes world of major college football? Well oh boy, does the University of Arkansas have a job for you, as applications are now being accepted for the role of “On-Campus Recruiting Coordinator.” Job requirements include working knowledge of the NCAA rulebook, two years’ experience at either a major college football program in the NFL, and—
Wait a second, On-Campus Recruiting Coordinator? That sounds familiar…
Ok the jig is up, and as you’ve probably figured out by now, this job posting is actually the one vacated by former Arkansas volleyball player, and former Bobby Petrino mistress Jessica Dorrell. You do remember Dorrell, don’t you? The woman caught riding on the back on Petrino’s motorcycle in early April? The one who was a central figure in the downfall of one of the most successful coaches in modern college football? The one who left Arkansas herself under a cloud of turmoil and uncertainty? That Jessica Dorrell? Yeah, well apparently her old job is now open and accepting applications.
And oh what a list of applicants they’re expected to get. Remember, this is a premiere entry-level job, at one of the biggest athletic departments in college football’s best conference. It’s like the equivalent of leaving college with a finance degree and getting a job at J.P. Morgan or something.
Speaking of which, do you remember just how darn good that original pool of 159 candidates was? It was a “Who’s who” of overachieving young men and women trying to get their start in college football coaching and administration.
Maybe the most prominent name on the list of original applicants was one of the other two finalists for the post that Dorrell eventually got, former LSU offensive lineman Ben Wilkerson. Wilkerson toted experience playing both major college football (obviously) and briefly spent some time in the NFL, including one season with the Atlanta Falcons where he was actually coached by Petrino himself (not that Petrino likely remembers or anything). He also held reference letters from Les Miles, Nick Saban, Derek Dooley and Will Muschamp, which look good on paper and all, but apparently couldn’t match the qualifications Dorrell had herself, which included…
You know what? Let’s just move on.
And if you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that Wilkerson was hardly the only really good applicant for the job. Right after the Petrino-Dorrell news broke Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples received a list of the other applicants and found a number of big-time, well-qualified applicants for the job.
Per Staples reporting on April 13, here are some of the other candidates for the gig:
– A former Director of Football Operations at Kentucky and Oregon named Steve Hellyer
– A former Director of Football Operations at UAB named Josh Lee, who had references from Mark Richt and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.
– Maggy Carlyle, who’d previously worked with the San Francisco 49ers, the Pac-12, the NFL and University of Missouri.
The list goes on and on, but you get the point. When the job was originally posted a few months ago, it brought out the best and the brightest looking to break into the world of college football coaching and administration. And there’s no reason to think that the list won’t again include a bumper crop of highly-qualified and highly-motivated candidates.
Assuming that is, that John L. Smith doesn’t have the same hiring standards as his former boss anyway.
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