Hogs: Bielema promotes Rhoads to DC

Hogs: Bielema promotes Rhoads to DC

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FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema walked down the hall to find his next defensive coordinator, elevating secondary coach Paul Rhoads to the position.

“It was our first team meeting (Monday) tonight and awesome reaction as I waited to tell our crew that @CoachRhoadsUA is our new DC,” Bielema tweeted.

Rhoads succees Robb Smith, who resigned and last week took the Minnesota defensive coordinator job. Bielema hired Rhoads last year to coach Arkansas defensive backs.

Rhoads spent seven seasons as Iowa State’s head coach before ISU fired him after the 2015 season. The Cyclones went 8-29 over his final three seasons there.

Before Iowa State, Rhodes served as defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh for eight years and one season at Auburn.

Rhoads takes over a defense that likely shifts this spring to a 3-4 base scheme after a miserable 2016.

The Razorbacks returned nine starters on defense last fall but finished ranked 75th nationally in total defense and 94th in rushing defense. They allowed 39 rushing touchdowns, the most in the FBS.

Auburn inflicted the most damage by rushing for 543 yards (most allowed in UA history) in a 56-3 beatdown.

At Pittsburgh from 2000 through 2007, five of Rhodes’ seven defenses ranked in the Top 30 in scoring defense.

Rhoads’ Iowa State teams went to bowl games in three of his first four seasons.

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