Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt appears not to be interested in taking over for Jeff Long. Again.
According to a report from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Thursday, multiple sources told the paper that the Razorbacks checked in on the Red Raiders AD to gauge his interest in taking the same position in Fayetteville but were turned down as Hocutt wanted to remain in Lubbock for the time being. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal also reported along the same lines with regards to the search.
Hocutt, of course, is the current chairman of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee — a position he took over for from Long, who was up until earlier this month the athletic director at Arkansas. The former Kansas State linebacker joined the CFP committee back in 2015 and was also previously the athletic director at Miami.
The Razorbacks most recently hired the search firm Korn Ferry to help find their next AD, a process that is running somewhat concurrently with the school’s search for a new head football coach. Several reports surfaced on Thursday that Tulsa athletic director Derrick Gragg was the favorite for (or had even accepted) the position, but no announcement has been made. The Democrat-Gazette did report Razorback Foundation executive director and general counsel Scott Varady also remains in the running.
It remains to be seen as to what the exact timetable Arkansas has in hiring either an AD or a head coach but chances seem high that they will at least wait to see what happens after the SEC Championship Game and the decision of the school’s reported first choice of native son Gus Malzahn. Auburn released a statement earlier in the day that they were committed to their coach and would not comment on any negotiations surrounding his contract.
One thing seems pretty clear however, and that would be Hocutt appears focused on picking the four teams for the College Football Playoff and not about the potential for calling the Hogs anytime soon.