Arkansas athletics, through a partnership with Learfield IMG College and Sport & Story, is excited to bring fans The Hog Pod with Bo Mattingly.
The weekly podcast features some of the best Razorbacks stories from past and present. Three-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year Bo Mattingly and his team of Bart Pohlman and Sawyer Radler produce unique content featuring current and former student-athletes, coaches, staff members and fans. The podcast takes fans into the heart of the stories that matter to Razorback fans while also keeping a pulse on the latest with the Hogs.
Episode 185: The Miracle on Markham
On the 20th anniversary of the Miracle on Markham and Arkansas’ last-second win over LSU to clinch the SEC West title in 2002, join Houston Nutt, Matt Jones and Clay Henry as they look back on what of the biggest moments in Razorback football history.
Episode 184: Mike Neighbors – What’s Next?
Arkansas women’s basketball is a program on the rise. Need proof? Look no further than all the things Mike Neighbors has accomplished as he begins Year 6 at the helm of the Razorbacks. There were those two top-five wins over UConn and Baylor — two of the four such wins in program history. But he’s also one of three coaches in program history to lead the Hogs to four-straight winning seasons. That success is largely driven by Neighbors’ unique approach to coaching. He’s always coming up with new ideas to challenge the norms. And as more and more top talent joins the Razorback program, fans are beginning to catch a glimpse of what’s to come.
Episode 183: Pat Bradley
Pat Bradley has always been “the shootah.” The stats and records back it up. Bradley is fifth on Arkansas’ all-time scoring list, led the Razorbacks in points per game three times, and made more 3-pointers than any Hog in history. And that shooting prowess is how a little-recruited guard from the Boston area ended up down in Arkansas. But Fayetteville is a long way from home. And there was a tough adjustment period for Bradley, who was unsure he’d last with the Razorbacks. Bradley stuck it out, took his lumps early and quickly emerged as a scoring threat for the Razorbacks, entering a new era minus their championship-winning heroes. And he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Episode 182: Rocket Sanders
There’s something special about the No. 5 jersey at Arkansas. It takes a special player to live up to the impossible standard set by the GOAT, Darren McFadden. But Rocket Sanders is doing his best—and as it turns out, his best is pretty darn good. The sophomore leads the SEC in rushing and is on pace to have the best season by a Razorback running back since McFadden. And having that No. 5 jersey is a big motivating factor. And as important as living up to the legacy of No. 5 is to Sanders, there’s something even bigger to him: being a dad. Sanders grew up most of his life without a father figure in his life. He’s determined to play a major role in his son’s life. Rocket Sanders has big shoes to fill, but if the early returns are any indication, he’s well on his way to leaving a lasting legacy on — and off — the field.
Episode 181: Jadon Haselwood
Jadon Haselwood was born to make plays. But sometimes, the right opportunity doesn’t come straight away. After committing to Oklahoma as one of the top recruits in the country, Haselwood had his moments, but a major injury and lack of targets had left him struggling to catch on in his three seasons in Norman. A decision to transfer landed him at Arkansas, with a fresh start, bolstered by a coaching staff who believes in what he can do. Being a top recruit can come with a lot of pressure, and Haselwood has dealt with it throughout his career. But a new outlook has propelled him to an impact role at Arkansas, and is seeing him become the best version of himself.
Episode 180: Eric Musselman – Embracing Expectations
Eric Musselman is doing things at Arkansas that Razorback fans haven’t seen in quite some time. He’s been to back-to-back Elite Eights and already has two wins over No. 1-ranked teams. And as Musselman enters the fourth year of his Arkansas tenure, expectations are sky high. Fans care about seeing a winner, and the Head Hog embraces it. Beyond the on-court success, there’s a freshman class ranked as one of the best in the country. Winning leads to more winning, and people are noticing. Now all that’s left is to keep the moment going. Arkansas and Musselman have their sights set on another deep run in March.
Episode 179: Isabel Van Camp
Running is hard. Doing it over long distances at consistent top speeds is one of the most impressive athletic feats. So when you’re an All-American in cross country, indoor and outdoor track like Isabel Van Camp, you’re doing something right. Add in a collegiate record in the women’s 4 x 1500m relay and a national title in the distance medley relay, and Van Camp is living her best life. But after struggling at times early on in her Razorback career, there were doubts. But remembering she was part of something bigger helped Van Camp push through. That team-first attitude has served Van Camp well, and makes all the hard work worth it. Van Camp aspires to greatness on—and off—the track. And her time at Arkansas has served her well in pursuit of her goals.
Episode 178: Ava Tankersley
What’s in a nickname? For Arkansas soccer standout Ava Tankersley… everything. “Tank” is an apt nickname. Tall, athletic, and full of offensive firepower, Tankersley has bulldozed her way through opponents and ranks among the best in the country in assists. But make no mistake, the junior forward likes to score, too. Athletic success runs in the family. Her dad played in the big leagues with the Padres, and her mom’s a marathon runner. It’s given her an easy career goal—matching her parents. But it takes hard work to get to that level. And Tank has Arkansas coach Colby Hale to thank for reaching new heights. Her performances have been off the charts for a program that has won three-straight SEC titles in the three years she’s been on campus. In this conversation with Hogs+ senior contributor Clay Henry, it’s the story of how Ava Tankersley has developed into a key cog for the Razorbacks.
Episode 177: Gaby Lopez
Gaby Lopez is one of the best Pro Hogs around. After a standout career at Arkansas that saw her finish as national runner-up, she’s now won three times on the LPGA Tour. The Mexico native wasn’t always a star, though. She routinely was shooting in the 100s when she started playing, and, while she was having fun, something was missing. Her play eventually attracted the interest of Arkansas, where she would learn the skills necessary to have success—both in college and at the next level. And when she won for the first time on the LPGA Tour, it validated all the hard work. In 2021, she earned perhaps her biggest honor to date: Being the flag bearer for Mexico at the Summer Olympics. Gaby Lopez shined bright at Arkansas, and is doing big things as a professional. Her story is one of determination and success. And there’s nobody better to help tell it than Arkansas women’s golf coach Shauna Taylor.
Episode 176: Joe Adams
Joe Adams’ football career could be summed up with one word: Electrifying. He returned five career punts for touchdowns — third in SEC history — won national awards and was a first-team All-American. But his time as a Razorback wouldn’t have happened without a last-minute change of heart. The signing day decision to play for his home-state Razorbacks meant the Hogs would be loaded with some all-time greats. But Adams didn’t want to take on the task of stepping into another legend’s number. Adams made No. 3 his own, dazzling fans and opposing defenses alike with his shiftiness and speed as he became one of the best receivers in school history. Now, having been inducted into the Razorbacks’ Hall of Honor, Adams’ spot as an Arkansas legend is secure.
Episode 175: Jason Watson
How do you end up going from growing up in Australia to coaching volleyball in the SEC? Ask Jason Watson. It’s been a long journey from Down Under to Arkansas for Watson, who played college volleyball at BYU and spent 11 years as an assistant before finally getting the chance to lead his own program at his alma mater. Along the way, Watson has developed a coaching philosophy that’s helped him guide teams to seven NCAA Tournament appearances and get buy-in from every athlete he coaches. Watch a match and you might not see Watson say a lot. He chooses his words and timing carefully. Watson has turned the Razorback volleyball program around. And though it bothers him that the team hasn’t been selected for an NCAA Tournament yet, he’s happy building a winner in his new home.
Episode 174: Cam Little
In just one season, Cam Little proved to be clutch. It’s not easy being a college kicker, but the sophomore from Oklahoma has embraced the spotlight… and the pressure that comes with it. Little had a remarkable freshman season, connecting on 20-of-24 field goal attempts and hitting all 46 of his extra points en route to being named a Freshman All-American. But Little wants to be known as much for what he’s doing on the field as he is off it. Cam Little is making an impact for the Razorbacks — and for so many others — with every kick. And that’s just the way he likes it.
Episode 173: Trey Knox
Trey Knox is a different person than when he first arrived on Arkansas’ campus—literally. He started for the Razorbacks as a freshman wide receiver, and is now a bulked-up tight end and No. 1 on the depth chart. Sometimes, the idea of less playing time or a position change has a player looking elsewhere. But not Knox. He loves Fayetteville and wanted to fight for his place on the team. Knox has emerged as a leader for a Razorback team filled with confidence. And he believes last season’s 9-4 record helped everyone realize there are bigger things to come. Knox wanted to be a Razorback. Now he wants to help lead the Hogs to new heights.
Episode 172: Sam Pittman – Year 3
Sam Pittman has restored the pride within Razorback football and around the state. Though it might’ve happened quicker than expected, the turnaround is real. Last season, there was more celebrating than the Razorbacks had seen in a decade. Arkansas won nine games and reached the top 10 for the first time since 2011, and won all three major rivalry trophies for the first time. As the Razorbacks head into Year 3 under Pittman, there’s an excitement in the state that hasn’t been felt in a long time. And fans are hoping to hear the jukebox playing early and often on Saturdays this fall.
Episode 171: Cody Kennedy
When you’re handpicked by Sam Pittman to be his offensive line coach, you must be doing something right. And if you’re Cody Kennedy, the best thing you can do is to watch, listen and learn from one of the best. Originally hired as the tight ends coach at Arkansas, Kennedy was quickly reassigned to the offensive line when the job became available. And he hasn’t looked back. A Broyles Award semifinalist last season and one of the game’s up-and-coming position coaches, Kennedy has four returning starters along the o-line and says stability will help the Arkansas program take the next step. In this episode, Hogs+ senior contributor Clay Henry sits down with the Razorbacks offensive line coach for a wide-ranging conversation — from building relationships to finding the winning recipe up front.
Episode 170: Bea Franklin
Bea Franklin has settled in nicely at Arkansas. The senior transferred from Notre Dame prior to last season, and helped guide the Razorbacks to a third-straight SEC title and the program’s first ever trip to the Elite 8 — thanks to a win over her former school in the Sweet 16. Franklin has found a home in Arkansas and with the Razorbacks, and gives credit to the culture that head coach Colby Hale has built. A self-described serial hobbyist, Franklin is interested in a little bit of everything — from snow skiing to serving as Arkansas’ Student-Athlete Advisory Council president. Franklin feels like she’s gotten a second chance at Arkansas, and so far, she’s taking full advantage of it.
Episode 169: Dalton Wagner
He might just be the next big WWE star, but Dalton Wagner is perfectly comfortable on the football field right now. Wagner, a 24-year-old super senior, is the elder statesman for the Razorback offense. He’s been a model of consistency, starting in each of the past four seasons and improving throughout. It’s no surprise the WWE came calling with an NIL deal. After all, at 6-foot-9, Wagner looks the part. But for now, he’s focused on football. And with four returning starters along the offensive line and KJ Jefferson back at quarterback, Wagner looks at last season’s 9-4 mark as the baseline. In this episode… Hogs+ senior contributor Clay Henry visits with Wagner and gets to the bottom of what’s in store for him this season and how he ended up becoming one of the longest-tenured Razorbacks.
Episode 168: Ricky Stromberg
After a standout junior season that saw him earn All-SEC honors, Ricky Stromberg had a decision to make: move on to the NFL, or come back for one final season with the Hogs. Stromberg anchored Arkansas’ offensive line at center, blocking for an offense that led all Power 5 schools in rushing at nearly 230 yards per game. It’s no wonder that Head Hog Sam Pittman is excited to have him back. And Pittman isn’t the only one who’s fired up. Stromberg, a preseason All-American pick, is ready to go to work with the guys up front. The senior from Tulsa isn’t shying away from high expectations, either. Not for himself, or for this team. In this episode, former Razorback and NFL offensive lineman Travis Swanson sits down with Stromberg to talk about why he came back to the Hogs, his goals for his senior season, and the attention he’s getting from preseason watch lists.
Episode 167: Harold Horton
If you were building a Mount Rushmore of important figures in Arkansas football history, there’s no doubt that Frank Broyles would be on there. But right there with him would be Harold Horton. Horton’s ties to the Razorbacks — and the state of Arkansas — run deep. He was part of three Southwest Conference championship teams in the early ‘60s under Frank Broyles, who then hired him as an assistant coach — a position he would hold for 13 years. After an unceremonious end to his time as a Razorback assistant and two years in the business sector, Horton was hired as the head coach at Central Arkansas, where he would win two NAIA national championships in eight seasons. He would return to Arkansas in 1990, working in football operations, before eventually serving as the president of the Razorback Foundation. All told, Horton had a major impact on the Hog football program for nearly 40 years. In this episode, Hogs+ senior contributor Clay Henry tells the story of Razorback great Harold Horton, with help from former Arkansas players and coaches like Tim Horton, Louis Campbell and Mike Boschetti.
Episode 166: Britton Wilson
Britton Wilson is having the time of her life. The standout hurdler for the Razorback women’s track team set nine school records in 2022, was named SEC Outdoor Runner of the Year, won a national championship, and is competing for Team USA at the World Championships. But the success hasn’t come easy. Britton struggled to find her way as a freshman in college, and decided that she needed to make a change. And that change was transferring to Arkansas. Her decision to join the Razorbacks has been life changing. Had she not made the change, Britton knows what her life might’ve been like. Wilson is glad she didn’t quit. So, too, are the Razorbacks. And as she continues her record-setting pace, she has dreams of representing the U.S. in the Olympics. Dreams that are close to becoming reality.
Episode 165: Jalen Catalon
Jalen Catalon is one of the best defensive backs Arkansas has seen in quite some time. He’s the first Razorback DB to make First Team All-SEC since Chris Houston in 2006. And he’s already joined Ken Hamlin and Kenoy Kennedy as the only Hog safeties to ever be named an All-American. But his fight to bounce back from injury is just as important as his quest to be one of the all-time greats. Catalon missed the Hogs’ final seven games—including the Outback Bowl win over Penn State—in what was shaping up to be a stellar sophomore season. But Catalon knows what it takes to bounce back. He’s dealt with injury and disappointment before, tearing his ACL and missing nearly his entire senior season at Mansfield Legacy High School in Texas. In this episode, Hogs Plus senior contributor Clay Henry talks to Catalon about his recovery from injury, working to get better, and how he hopes to take his place alongside some of the all-time Razorback greats.
Episode 164: KJ Jefferson – Better Than Ever
KJ Jefferson isn’t sneaking up on anybody. After a standout season in which Jefferson amassed more than 3,300 total yards and 27 touchdowns, the secret is out: Arkansas’ QB1 is a big-time player. But, despite leading the Razorbacks to its first nine-win season in a decade, it wasn’t always easy. After a 4-0 start to the season, Arkansas lost three straight. The team—and its captain, Jefferson—vowed to turn things around. Arkansas won four of its final five games in the regular season, with the only loss being a close call at Alabama. And Jefferson starred throughout. In this episode, Razorback radio analyst and former star quarterback Quinn Grovey talks to Jefferson about dedicating the offseason to taking his game to the next level and being ready for whatever opposing defenses throw at him.
Episode 163: Barry Odom: Arkansas is the place to be
For Barry Odom, Arkansas — and coaching alongside Sam Pittman — is the place to be. Odom has helped Pittman engineer an incredible turnaround at Arkansas, and has helped a once-maligned defense turn into one of the better units in the country. After the Razorbacks gave up more than 30 points per game for five straight seasons, Odom’s 2021 group allowed less than 23 a game to rank in the top half of the SEC. And perhaps no game showcased the improvement more than the win over Texas, when the Razorbacks smashed the Longhorns all over the field. The Razorbacks bookended that performance with a second-half shutout of Penn State in the Outback Bowl, setting the stage for more to come. In this episode, Arkansas radio analyst Quinn Grovey sits down with the Hogs’ DC to talk about his unit’s improvement, working alongside Sam Pittman, and why the Razorbacks are a destination in college football.
Episode 162: DVH – Hogs Return to Omaha
Dave Van Horn leads by example. His quiet confidence comes from being one of the best at what he does. His work ethic is second to none. And he has a burning desire to bring Arkansas baseball its first national championship — something he promised Razorback fans in his introductory press conference. That level of passion has been there in every team he’s coached, but something changed at the end of this season and it’s a big reason why Arkansas was able to punch their ticket for a return to Omaha. In this exclusive conversation with Dave Van Horn, Phil Elson — the Voice of Razorback Baseball — sits down with the skipper and talks about the team’s growth over the course of the season, how players and coaches feed off of one of the most passionate fan bases in the country, and what he sees in this squad that makes him believe this is the year he can fulfill that press conference promise he made nearly two decades ago.
Episode 161: Evan Taylor
When you think about the fact that Evan Taylor grew up in Florence, Alabama, as a big Crimson Tide football fan, you wonder how he ended up a Razorback. But that’s the national pull this program has under Dave Van Horn. When you’re consistently one of the top programs in the country, that’s what happens. And Taylor became enamored with the Razorbacks during their 2018 College World Series run. But it’s not easy to join a top program. Taylor struggled early, pitching fewer than 15 innings in his first three seasons combined. That led to a conversation with DVH that helped turn his career around. This season, Taylor has turned into one of the most reliable arms in the Razorback bullpen, posting a 3.38 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings. The struggles—and the worries that came with them—are a thing of the past.
Episode 160: Michael Turner
If it wasn’t for today’s transfer market, Michael Turner would likely have never been a Razorback. After four years at Kent State, where he earned All-MAC honors, the Ohio native decided to put his name in the transfer portal. There were other options closer to home … then he heard from the No. 1 team in the country. And Turner has been blown away by his experience at Arkansas, likening the fan support and atmosphere to what he’s only experienced at college football games up north. Turner has emerged as one of the best hitters on the team, and even though the regular season didn’t end the way these Razorbacks had hoped, they’re ready for the challenge of the postseason.
Episode 159: Linnie Malkin
Linnie Malkin loves hitting bombs. That approach worked for Malkin, who led the SEC and was top-10 nationally in homers in her senior season. At Arkansas, she found happiness on and off the field. It was a journey to get here, featuring a complicated relationship with her dad, and a trip from Colorado to get noticed. But head coach Courtney Deifel and the Razorbacks have Malkin living her best life. And there was plenty of good this season for Malkin and Arkansas, including a first-ever SEC Tournament title.
Episode 158: KB Sides
KB Sides is a lot of things. Kendall Beth. Razorback. SEC Player of the Year. And, most importantly: Herself. But her journey to figure that out hasn’t been a straight line. After her career at Alabama came to an unexpected end, Sides debating giving up the sport before deciding to seek a new home. And a phone call with Arkansas coach Courtney Deifel changed everything. Sides and Arkansas have been a perfect match. Her 28 steals this season were 24 more than the Razorbacks had all last year. And she’s the latest example of the Razorbacks becoming a destination for the nation’s best. KB Sides took a chance on Arkansas and rediscovered her love for the game — and herself — in the process. And as the SEC Player of the Year, she’s going out on top.
Episode 157: Courtney Defel – Program Built
When Courtney Deifel arrived at Arkansas ahead of the 2016 season, the Razorbacks were one of the cellar dwellers of the SEC. The program had won just 18 total SEC games in the three previous seasons, and Deifel’s first team won just a single conference game. But she saw the potential for a turnaround. Since that first season, Deifel and her team have been setting records, including winning the program’s first SEC titles in 2021 and 2022. But winning isn’t everything. Deifel’s program is making an impact on softball, especially in the Natural State. Winning the SEC — while a remarkable achievement considering where the program was — isn’t the end game. This program, under Courtney Deifel, is ready for new heights.
Episode 156: Kendal Briles – Hogs are Home
Kendal Briles has found a home at Arkansas. Entering his third year with the Razorbacks, Briles has served as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas longer than at any of his previous stops. And it’s paid dividends. Razorback fans have a lot to be excited about on offense with Briles at the helm, and it starts with quarterback KJ Jefferson as the returning starter. In this conversation, Quinn Grovey sits down with Kendal Briles to talk about why Arkansas is a great fit for him, working with a quarterback like KJ Jefferson, and why he thinks this program is ready for big things.
Episode 155: Ayden Owens-Delerme
Ayden Owens-Delerme may be the best athlete on campus at the University of Arkansas. And it’s something he’s been training for his entire life. Owens-Delerme developed a love for multiple sports as a kid, and had dreams of playing for his home state Pittsburgh Steelers. But Owens-Delerme found a different outlet for his competitive nature… on the track AND in the field. His hard work paid off, and he’s now the collegiate record holder in the decathlon. But along with his success came a difficult choice: Who to represent on the international stage… the United States, or his family’s homeland of Puerto Rico. The decision has paid off for Owens-Delerme, who has lofty Olympic aspirations. And after stops at USC and Michigan, he’s found a home at Arkansas, a place that knows a thing or two about producing Olympians.
Episode 154: Sam Pittman – Restoring Pride
Pride in the Razorbacks is a big part of life in the Natural State. When the Hogs are winning, it affects everybody in a positive way. And thanks to Sam Pittman, that pride in Arkansas football is back. The Head Hog has the program on an upward trajectory after a nine-win season, and fans are getting to experience some great moments once again. In this conversation, Quinn Grovey sits down with Sam Pittman to talk about revitalizing a program, bringing the pride back to Razorback football, and what it’s been like to be the coach at Arkansas.
Episode 153: Zebulon Vermillion
The guy they call Zeb might be the most interesting man in the world. Besides a unique name, the fifth-year senior pitcher speaks parts of multiple languages, will compete with you in ping pong or bowling and played basketball with multiple guys who made it to the NBA. Don’t expect to see Vermillion on the basketball court, though. He has emerged as a standout reliever for the nationally competitive Razorbacks. It’s a role that’s been built through hard work and an incredible culture that permeates every aspect of the program. And while Vermillion’s Razorback career didn’t get off to the best of starts, he’s turned into one of the most consistent—and confident—performers for Dave Van Horn’s team. With that kind of confidence, it’s easy to see why Vermillion has found success this season and is destined to leave an impact on Razorback baseball.
Episode 152: Danielle Gibson
Danielle Gibson is an RBI machine. She’s the Arkansas school record holder for career RBI, and isn’t slowing down in her last season on campus. The fact that she even ended up with the Razorbacks is a bit of a surprise, considering she’s from California and started her collegiate career at Arizona State. But ever since she set foot in Fayetteville, she’s been dynamite. In this conversation, Quinn Grovey and Matt Zimmerman sit down with this Razorback standout to talk about her life, being a married student-athlete, and her aspirations to be a coach and help change lives in the process.
Episode 151: Connor Noland
Connor Noland’s talent has never been up for debate. A two-sport star at Greenwood High School, he excelled both on the football field and the mound. Noland wanted to continue playing both sports in college, which made Arkansas — his dream school — a perfect fit. Noland won his only start at quarterback for the Razorbacks. But after a year of trying both sports, he realized he needed to make a choice. The decision to focus on baseball has paid off, but not without some injury-induced struggles. But Noland persevered through any doubts to become the Razorbacks’ Friday night starter. And now wants to set an example for Arkansas, just like former Hog Kevin Kopps. Noland is well on his way to realizing his potential. And his mission is clear.
Episode 150: Nolan Richardson: Arkansas Legend
Nolan Richardson is many things. Hall of Famer. Champion. Coaching icon. And while it all started for him in El Paso, Texas, it was at Arkansas where he became a legend. After consistent improvement in his first four seasons with the Razorbacks, Richardson broke through in 1990, with the help of some memorable wins over rival Texas. If that was the turning point, the move to the SEC proved to be what launched Richardson and Arkansas to the top of the college basketball world. Arkansas beat their new rivals, Kentucky, in the first four regular-season meetings between the teams, establishing the Hogs as the top dog of the SEC. And that status would be further cemented in 1994 with a national championship. It was the crowning achievement in an outstanding career for Richardson, a man who thrived on being an underdog and people counting him out. And for this, the 150th episode of The Hog Pod, we’re going back to where we started it all, with the man who delivered the Razorbacks their only basketball national championship.
Episode 149: Stanley Umude
Stanley Umude has had a long journey to Arkansas. Literally. The son of Nigerian immigrants, he’s the only member of his family—which includes two older siblings — who was born in America. And that led to a unique upbringing. That life would take Umude from Oregon to San Antonio, where he discovered basketball. But an injury in high school left him underrecruited, and he ended up enrolling at South Dakota. A long way from home and struggling to find playing time early, Umude thought about transferring. But he stuck around and become one of the best players in the league. His play caught the eye of Eric Musselman, who brought Umude to Fayetteville as a grad transfer, and he’s come up big when the lights are brightest for the Razorbacks. Umude is driven by incredible self-belief that fueled him at times when his life could’ve gone in other directions. And he knows the best is yet to come.
Episode 148: Amber Ramirez
Amber Ramirez has never met a 3-pointer she didn’t like. The super-senior and McDonald’s All-American from San Antonio returned to the Razorbacks for a third season after transferring in from TCU following her sophomore year. A big reason why? Coach Mike Neighbors, and his willingness to let his players be themselves. Ramirez was interested in playing for Neighbors at Washington, but it was too far from home. So when Ramirez decided to transfer from TCU, she only had eyes for the Razorbacks. That decision has worked out for everyone: Ramirez has scored more than 1,000 points in her Razorback career, and has left an impact on a program on the rise in the SEC.
Episode 147: Jordyn Wieber – Raising the Bar
Jordyn Wieber is used to winning. From taking home Olympic gold to being part of a championship-winning program at UCLA, Wieber knows what it takes to find success at the highest levels. And so when she became the first Olympic champion to become the head coach of a collegiate program, Wieber knew what she wanted to do. The Arkansas gymnastics program isn’t even 20 years old, but has seen its fair share of successes. With Wieber, there’s more buzz than ever—the team has already posted records for attendance and high scores. And it all starts with building a culture and a program with a winning mentality. With an Olympian at the helm—and two others on the coaching staff—Razorback gymnastics is on an upward trajectory. And it all starts with Jordyn Wieber.
Episode 146: DVH Part 2
Dave Van Horn’s tenure at Arkansas has been defined by success. Moments fueled by some of the all-time greats, including two Golden Spikes Award winners. And those successes — and the players involved in them — continue to elevate the Razorback baseball program. The wins, accolades and trophies have raised the bar for Razorback baseball, now seen as one of the very best programs in the country. In Part 2 of this exclusive conversation with Dave Van Horn, Phil Elson and the skipper talk successes, standards and wanting to win that national championship for his alma mater.
Episode 145: DVH Part 1
Dave Van Horn has never been one to lack confidence. And it’s served him well in his time at Arkansas. Van Horn is the active coaching leader in College World Series appearances, and has come painstakingly close to delivering a national title to Fayetteville. He’s turned Arkansas into one of the best programs in the country, AND one of the most intimidating places to play. In Part 1 of this exclusive conversation with Dave Van Horn, Phil Elson — the Voice of Razorback Baseball — sits down with the already legendary coach to talk about everything… from his career to how the program became what it is today.
Episode 144: Sasha Gorforth
Sometimes, it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. For Sasha Goforth, the place is Arkansas. But the timing? Well, that’s where her story is a little different. Goforth has been a basketball standout from an early age. Her high school career included McDonald’s All-American honors, two state titles at Fayetteville High School, and becoming the first freshman in Arkansas high school history to earn MVP honors at the state tournament. She was one of the state’s greatest players. But she craved a different setting and experience, something Razorback head coach Mike Neighbors respected. After an All-Pac 12 Freshman season at Oregon State amid a global pandemic, Sasha decided it was best to come back home and be a Razorback. Arkansas was always the place for Sasha Goforth, but it took the right time for her to call the Hogs home. And now that she’s here, Sasha is ready to leave a lasting impact.
Episode 143: Devo Davis
The Razorback basketball program made history last season, advancing to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 25 years. But the run to the Elite 8 wouldn’t have been possible without Davonte “Devo” Davis hitting one of the biggest shots in program history. It was the culmination of not just Davis’ freshman year, but his journey to becoming a Razorback. Because if history plays out differently, he may never have played for Arkansas. Originally committed to Oklahoma State, things changed when Eric Musselman was hired. Davis quickly built a strong bond with Musselman, who offered Devo a scholarship in person following a practice on a cafeteria tile floor that doubled as a gym. And just like that, the four-star Jacksonville, Arkansas, native was a Razorback. And after a slow start to his freshman year, he came on strong down the stretch, scoring in double figures in seven of the final nine games, including all four of the Hogs’ NCAA Tournament matchups. He’ll already go down in Arkansas history for the shot to make the Elite 8. But if Devo Davis has his way, he’s just getting started.
Episode 142: Jaylin Williams
Jaylin Williams is all Arkansas. The Fort Smith native grew up watching and rooting for the Razorbacks. Guys like Bobby Portis and Daniel Gafford. That upbringing fueled Williams’ dream to represent the Razorbacks and prove to kids growing up across Arkansas that you can stay home and accomplish great things. But Williams wouldn’t have gotten to this point without hard work, something he learned from his former high school teammate and Razorback Isaiah Joe. The work paid off, and the offers started rolling in, but Williams only had eyes for Arkansas. And after a slow start to his freshman season, Williams came on strong down the stretch for the Razorbacks and made his way into the starting lineup for the Hogs’ NCAA Tournament run. Off the court, Williams’ personality is just as infectious as it is during a game. He brings the energy, has fun… and will do whatever it takes to help his home-state team win.
Episode 141: JD Notae
JD Notae can flat-out score. The reigning SEC Sixth Man of the Year has moved into a starting role for Eric Musselman’s Razorback basketball team, and is a threat to lead the league in scoring. Notae looks like he’s been playing basketball his whole life, and, considering he only started playing in eighth grade, it’s amazing how much he’s developed in such a short amount of time. Notae overcame a difficult upbringing, which included moving from place to place and watching his mom serve four years in prison. Sports were an escape, and eventually, he found basketball. And while he started playing too late to get major attention, he’s found the spotlight at Arkansas. With his mom — having turned her life around—by his side as his biggest fan, Notae is ready to prove he can top last year’s performance and lead the Razorbacks.
BONUS: Darren McFadden & Houston Nutt (Part 3)
Darren McFadden and Houston Nutt were responsible for some of the greatest moments for Razorback football in Arkansas’ SEC era. In the first two parts of our exclusive conversation with Nutt and McFadden, we’ve taken you through the incredible 2006 season, the 2007 upset win over LSU, and McFadden getting snubbed for the Heisman. Now, in this final part of the conversation, the two reflect on what they accomplished and their relationship, which remains strong to this day.
BONUS: Darren McFadden & Houston Nutt (Part 2)
Darren McFadden burst on to the national scene in 2006, winning the Doak Walker Award and finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting, behind winner Troy Smith. It was a contentious decision at the time, but it set the stage for a big 2007 season. Despite some off-field drama, the 2007 team found its footing and won five of its last six games, including a season-ending, triple-overtime win against No. 1 LSU in Baton Rouge. And Houston Nutt’s postgame interview became instantly iconic. But the Heisman eluded McFadden once again. And it still bothers Arkansans to this day. In Part 2 of our exclusive conversation with Nutt and McFadden, we take you through the 2007 season—from a record-breaking performance against South Carolina to the shock of not winning the Heisman.
BONUS: Darren McFadden & Houston Nutt (Part 1)
For the first time, Darren McFadden and Houston Nutt sit down and relive the 2006 and 2007 football seasons. In Part 1 of this bonus Hog Pod series, the two cover the 2006 season, winning 10 straight games and clinching an SEC West title.
Episode 140: Oliver Miller
Larger than life is a great way to describe Oliver Miller’s Razorback career. An all-time fan favorite, Miller was always the showman. His on-court play fired up crowds in Barnhill Arena, too. Miller still holds the school records for career blocks and field goal percentage, and was part of a new era of Triplets — alongside Todd Day and Lee Mayberry — that won three Southwest Conference titles and made it to the 1990 Final Four. But he also helped lead the Razorbacks into the SEC, winning the league title over LSU and Shaquille O’Neal in 1992. Miller finished his Razorback career ranked inside the top 10 on the all-time scoring list, and was a first-round draft pick by the Phoenix Suns in 1992. Alongside Charles Barkley, Miller made it to the NBA Finals against Michael Jordan and the Bulls as a rookie. But it wasn’t all fun and games for the entertaining big man. He battled weight issues throughout his career. First a bad perception in college, then reality in the NBA. But Miller was able to overcome it, and played for nine seasons in the NBA. Now retired, happy and healthy, Miller looks back fondly on his time with the Razorbacks and the fans who still hold a special place in his heart.
Episode 139: Jersey Wolfenbarger
Imagine a basketball player with the size to work in the paint, but the skills, creativity and shooting to be an elite guard. Thinking of Kevin Durant? Well, we’re talking about someone who’s already drawing KD comparisons: Arkansas’ Jersey Wolfenbarger. In some ways, Jersey was made for this. At 6-foot-5 as a freshman, she’s already the tallest player on the Razorback women’s basketball team. And the accolades are there—she was a McDonald’s All-American and the seventh-ranked player in the nation coming out of high school. But she didn’t get there without work and motivation from an unusual source. For Jersey, it’s about wanting to be the best. That work ethic is what can take a great athlete to the next level. And for Jersey, it can help her realize every basketball player’s dream—becoming the No. 1 overall draft pick.
Episode 138: Chris Lykes
Chris Lykes wants to do two things: play basketball and win. He rose to basketball prominence in the same hotbed that produced Kevin Durant, and spent the first four seasons of his college career at the University of Miami. So how did Lykes end up here? A season-ending injury renewed his desire to achieve more. After testing the NBA waters, Lykes decided it was in his best interests to return for another year in college. And it was obvious what the perfect fit would be. Lykes is ready to learn what it takes to make it to the next level from Eric Musselman, and help the Hogs reach their full potential. And as Arkansas basketball analyst Matt Zimmerman sits down with Chris Lykes, it’s time to get to know one of the newest Razorbacks.
Episode 137: Anna Podojil
Anna Podojil is a scorer. How else would you describe someone who’s scored 34 goals in three seasons for a Razorback soccer team that has become a top-25 mainstay? What separates her is a desire to be the best. That drive helped Podojil become one of the most sought-after high school talents, attracting interest from the best programs in the nation. But she had her heart set on the Razorbacks, and helping the Arkansas program reach new heights. And Podojil has been at the forefront of the Razorbacks’ rise to the top of the SEC. She’s been an SEC Freshman of the Year and Forward of the Year, and a two-time All-American. But more importantly than any individual accolades, Podojil and her teammates have accomplished the goal of raising the bar at Arkansas, which earned its first ever No. 2 seed at that NCAA Tournament in 2021. No matter how many goals Podojil scores in her Arkansas career, she’ll have accomplished her mission of elevating the Razorback program.
Episode 136: Treylon Burks
Treylon Burks isn’t like other top players in college football. Hailing from Warren, Ark., Burks would rather spend time in the woods than playing Fortnite. And he grew up as a water boy for a high school team featuring three future NFL players — Jarius Wright, Chris Gragg and Greg Childs. On the field, Burks always had potential. So much that his youth league made a rule to slow him down. But becoming a superstar wide receiver almost didn’t happen. Burks suffered a nearly catastrophic knee injury in high school that almost cost him his football career. And he almost didn’t choose the Razorbacks. But in the end, representing his home state and staying close to home won out. And it’s been a nonstop highlight reel since. For Treylon Burks, the only question left is if he’ll break as many records as he does defenses.
Episode 135: Mike Neighbors – In the Conversation
Few coaches are as obsessed with learning and getting better than Mike Neighbors. For proof, look no further than the fact that he keeps track of every mistake he makes in an effort to learn from them. It’s that attention to detail that has the Razorbacks on the rise. Arkansas has finished back-to-back seasons above .500 in SEC play for the first time in school history. And now, they’re holding their own against the nation’s elite. Last season, Neighbors led the program to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. And despite the early exit in March, a lot of progress was made. That first-round NCAA Tournament loss provides plenty of motivation. And when you combine that with what Neighbors and his staff have been building, you have a chance to take another big step forward. Talent alone doesn’t win games. Neighbors knows this. But for a program that has its eyes set on being in the national spotlight, Arkansas is well on its way.
Episode 134: Coach Musselman – Year 3
Razorback basketball hit high marks last season that hadn’t been seen in 25 years. The first Sweet 16 since 1996. The first Elite 8 since 1995. And the program’s best winning percentage since the Hogs came within a game of back-to-back national titles. In short, Razorback basketball was fun again. And that’s just the way head coach Eric Musselman likes it. Old school or new school — whatever you want to call it — it’s working. In just two years, Musselman has revitalized a program. His 45 wins through two seasons are the most by any coach in program history, and his 20 conference wins are tied with Eddie Sutton atop the Razorbacks’ all-time coaching list. It’s fun to win. But there’s a lot of work that goes into it. And it’s that grind and a relentless quest to get better that has defined the Razorbacks so far under Musselman. It’s elevated Arkansas back among the SEC elite and to national prominence. And as Year 3 of the Musselman Era begins, Hog fans are ready to see what comes next.
Episode 133: Brooke Matthews
As easy as she makes things look on the golf course, you’d think Brooke Matthews was always destined for greatness. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, growing up as a multi-sport athlete, golf was more of an afterthought. But once she decided to focus her full attention on the golf course, the Rogers native starting winning junior events, and caught the eye of her home-state Razorbacks. And while playing for Arkansas was a dream for Brooke, things didn’t go as expected in the beginning. On a roster loaded with future pros, she didn’t qualify for a single tournament as a freshman. And so, Brooke made the decision to redshirt. That redshirt year and decision to take the more challenging road has paid off. She’s won four individual titles since, represented the U.S. in the Curtis Cup, and played in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. And along the way, she shattered the 54-hole NCAA scoring record by a whopping six shots. She’s kind of a big deal. And she has big dreams of a future in golf. But none of it would’ve happened without hard work and a refusal to take the easy way out.
Episode 132: KJ Jefferson
For KJ Jefferson, there are two things that have always been intertwined as part of his life: sports and family. That family and the Sardis, Miss., community saw something in KJ: the potential for something more. And they helped him stay on the right path. Eventually, KJ saw that opportunity to escape to better things, and bought into himself. At the center of it all is KJ’s relationship with his biggest supporter: His mom. KJ is a self-admitted momma’s boy, and she has no problem holding him accountable for what he does on the field. Now, KJ continues to emerge and develop as a big-time player for the Razorback football team. His future looks brighter than ever. And as he continues his football journey, his mom, his family and the whole community back home will be with him every step of the way.
Episode 131: Au’Diese Toney
Positionless basketball is a buzzword in the sport today. Having guys capable of playing any position creates flexibility and matchup nightmares for the opposition. And that’s what Eric Musselman is doing at Arkansas. And so Au’Diese Toney, a senior transfer from Pitt, seems like the perfect fit. Last season, he averaged career highs of 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 16 games before a car crash and a concussion knocked him out for the season. After that disappointing end to his junior season, Toney entered the transfer portal, and was greeted with offers from more than 20 schools. But he chose Arkansas for two reasons: a desire to win at the highest level, and a chance to take his game to the next level with the help of Musselman. As one of the latest transfers to join the Razorback program under Musselman, Toney is ready to make his mark at Arkansas.
Episode 130: Bumper Pool
Despite what he may say, Bumper Pool is unique. There’s the name: Bumper, which began as a nickname but is now his legal first name. There’s the fact that he chose to live out his dream at Arkansas over so many top programs. And there’s the fact that he’s the latest in a line of great Arkansas linebackers from Texas. None of that would matter, though, if it wasn’t for his high school coach convincing him to give up playing quarterback and make the move to defense. Since then, Bumper has enjoyed tremendous success on a personal level. He’s been an SEC and national defensive player of the week, an All-SEC selection, and finished in the top 10 nationally in total tackles last season. But the wins weren’t there. And for a guy who cares so much about turning this program around, that mattered. And that’s where Sam Pittman comes in. Two wins over ranked teams and a top-10 national ranking later, it seems like Bumper Pool is well on his way to making sure he leaves a mark—on opposing offenses AND the Razorback program.
Episode 129: Brett Goode
According to the NCAA, only three percent of high school football players make it to Division 1. And of those players, less than two percent make it to the NFL. Getting there is hard enough. Locking down one of only 32 long snapper spots seems impossible. So how did Brett Goode go from snapping against the goal posts in high school to walking on at Arkansas, lasting a decade in the NFL and winning a Super Bowl title? To him, it was just hard work and a determination to live out a life-long dream. And along the way, he got to be a part of some incredible moments at Arkansas, and was a part of some incredible teams. That helped prepare him for the NFL: His first game was Aaron Rodgers’ debut with the Packers on Monday Night Football. That game was the first of 152 in the NFL for Goode, who won a Super Bowl along the way. It’s a storybook career for a guy who found a niche in high school and worked hard to become one of the 32 best in the world.
Episode 128: Hayden Henry
Hayden Henry understands that he’s probably not the first member of the Henry family that comes to your mind. You might think of his older brother, Hunter, a tight end for the New England Patriots. Or Hudson, his younger brother and tight end for the Razorbacks. Or maybe even his dad, Mark, a pastor in Little Rock and former Razorback himself. But now, Hayden is making a name all on his own. And when he hears his name called, he’s reminded his final season as a Hog almost never happened. When you want something bad enough, you’re going to put in the work. And Hayden has done that, going from walk-on, to scholarship player, to SEC Defensive Player of the Week. But perhaps most importantly, he has the trust of his teammates. Playing for Arkansas has been a source of pride for the Henry family. And now Hayden is making the Razorback family proud.
Episode 127: Trelon Smith
Arkansas running back Trelon Smith is on a path to be a big-time playmaker for the Razorbacks. But if it wasn’t for football, his life might’ve taken a different turn. A Texas high school football standout, the sport gave him the opportunity he wanted. But after a couple of seasons at Arizona State, Smith entered the transfer portal — landing him an Arkansas offer he was quick to accept. It might not have been that easy at first. He had to sit out a year due to transfer rules. And he was behind Rakeem Boyd on the depth chart. But he knew he’d get his chance. And when the chance came, Smith was ready, piling up 710 yards on just 134 carries in 2020. Had football not kept Smith on the right path, Arkansas may never have been in the picture. Now, he’s looking to become the next Razorback 1,000-yard rusher.
Episode 126: Sam Pittman – Year 2
Make no mistake: Sam Pittman is fired up to be Arkansas’ head coach. And that passion for the Razorbacks has united the state behind the Head Hog, led to T-shirts and catch phrases, and has Razorback fans excited to see what’s next after a solid debut season. While it’s refreshing — and incredibly important — to have a head coach who embraces the state and relates to the people the way Pittman has, it’s not the only thing that matters. This is a proud program that wants to win games. And Pittman knows it. As he continues to revive a program—and a fan base—that’s starving for success, Year 2 can be a major step in the right direction.
Episode 125: Sam Pittman – Building a Program
Ask most Razorback fans, and they’ll tell you that Year 1 under Sam Pittman was a resounding success. There were SEC wins — something the Razorbacks had gone two full seasons without — but more than that, the fight, effort and toughness had returned to a proud Arkansas program. The season wasn’t without its ups and downs, but Pittman took it all in stride and wouldn’t change a thing. He knows there’s a lot to build on. And so as Pittman and his staff enter Year 2 at Arkansas, where are the Razorbacks in the building process? And what has he been pleased with? Under Pittman’s leadership, Arkansas seems well on its way to making the state proud of Razorback football once again.
Episode 124: Dowell Loggains
When it comes to new Razorback tight ends coach Dowell Loggains, you’d be forgiven for thinking time is a flat circle. Yes, he’s back at Arkansas, where his football dream began. But that’s about it when it comes to history repeating itself — he’s no longer a backup quarterback or holder extraordinaire. No, he’s an accomplished and well-traveled coach, who has led offenses at the highest level in the game. That resume has granted Loggains incredible opportunities and a great career in the NFL. But there’s always just been something about Arkansas. Coaching football has been a dream for Loggains, one that’s brought him back home to Arkansas. And it’s the guys like him—those who desperately want to be Razorbacks — who end up having the biggest impact.
Epiosde 123: Casey Dick
Casey Dick had some huge moments in his Arkansas career. He took down Tennessee when College GameDay came to town. He had back-to-back legendary victories over LSU — including a triple OT win & the Miracle on Markham 2. But his career wasn’t all big moments. He was in the middle of one of the biggest QB controversies in Razorback history when Mitch Mustain came to campus. On top of that, he went through one of the most drastic coaching changes a quarterback could imagine when Bobby Petrino took over for Houston Nutt. Dick went through it all and came out with a career that may not have been filled with Hall of Fame numbers, but was made up of Hall of Fame moments.
Epiosde 122: Kenny Guiton
Arkansas wide receivers coach Kenny Guiton has had a rapid rise through the coaching ranks of college football, landing his first Division I assistant job before he turned 30. But before he was a coach, he was a son who wanted to make his dad proud playing the sport he loved. After being lost on the depth chart at Ohio State, he began to stray from the ideals and work ethic his father had instilled in him. He hit a crossroads — continue down his path and likely transfer, or redefine himself and return to his roots. The change in perspective changed the trajectory of his career on and off the field, and led him to the path he’s found himself on today.
Episode 121: Keith Smart
When people in the basketball world hear the name Keith Smart, they think of the Indiana guard that made ‘The Shot’ to win a national title, a long-time NBA coach and a former JUCO star. But apart from all of his on-court accolades, Keith Smart is something more. He’s a cancer survivor. We sat down with Coach Smart to talk about how battling and beating a rare form of skin cancer changed his perspective on life and coaching forever.
Episode 120: Sandi Morris
NCAA Champion. World Champion. Olympic silver medalist. All of these things describe former Arkansas track star and professional pole vaulter Sandi Morris. Before she arrived on the Hill, she was just a little girl who paid a boy a quarter to race her, and fell in love with track forever. Morris’ journey at Arkansas and professionally has been a ride: From finding a coach that changed the entire approach to the sport, to helping the Hogs win their first-ever national title in a women’s sport and breaking a bone in her hand eight weeks before her first Olympic trials. They all culminated into the moment that has fueled her every day since 2016: a split second of feeling what it was like to be a gold medalist before the bar fell on her final jump in Rio. We sat down with Sandi as she prepared for the Tokyo Olympics to tell her story as she vaults for another chance at gold in 2021.
Episode 119: Hunter Yurachek – Navigating a Pandemic
Heading into the 2020-21 school year, no one even knew if college sports were going to be a thing. But universities found a way to safely allow their student-athletes to compete in the sports they love. Arkansas excelled in that area: Despite millions in revenue loss and the safety concerns that came with the pandemic, the Razorbacks were successful both on and off the playing field.
We sat down with Arkansas Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek to break down how Arkansas navigated a global pandemic and achieved unprecedented success along the way.
Episode 118: Hunter Yurachek – Year of the Razorback
The 2020-21 athletic year was one of unprecedented success across Razorback sports: 10 SEC Championships, 10 SEC Coach of the Year awards, eight top-10 finishes, All-Americans, a national player of the year, a program of the year award and a national title. Of Arkansas’ 19 programs, 18 made post-season appearances. We sat down with Arkansas Director of Athletics, Hunter Yurachek, to take a look back at an incredible season and what went into making it happen — as well as looking forward to what it means for the future of Razorback sports.
Episode 117: DVH on a historic season
Arkansas baseball had an incredible year: they broke program records, won an outright SEC title for the first time under Dave Van Horn, won the SEC Tournament for the first time in history and had the most dominant player in the country. It was a season to remember that ended just short of Omaha. The Razorback skipper takes us behind the scenes of how everything went down and answers some burning questions: what did he tell Kevin Kopps when he took him out in the 9th inning vs. NC State? What was really behind the spat with Tony Vitello in Knoxville? What was he thinking in the game one blowout vs. the Wolfpack? And most importantly, where does he go from here? He answers it all in this week’s episode.
Episode 116: Katie Izzo
Arkansas is widely known as “The Track Capital of the World” and has attracted some of the top talents, including distance star Katie Izzo. But Izzo’s journey to national success included more than just a bump in the road. How? Well, while at Cal Poly, Izzo broke her leg in the middle of a race, leaving her stranded on the course before help finally came. After having a metal rod inserted in her leg and two years without competition, she found her way to Fayetteville where she came back with a fury — blasting past her personal bests, qualifying for the Olympic trials and helping Arkansas win its first-ever cross country national championship. This is how Katie Izzo took the worst thing that could happen to a runner and became a champion.
Episode 115: Johnny Ray
Johnny Ray & legendary head coach Norm DeBriyn take us through the story of two-time all-Southwest Conference performer. Johnny Ray, an MLB All-Star & Silver Slugger award winner has one of the most storied careers in Razorback history. The JUCO transfer struggled early in his life after losing his father in an accident while in college. The tragedy shaped Ray into the person and player he came to be. He helped build the bedrock of Arkansas baseball as he helped take the Hogs to their first-ever College World Series appearance, coming up just short of a national title. Ray transitioned his success into the big leagues, being named the MLB Rookie of the Year. But to Ray, the success was not his alone—he wanted to give back to the program & coach that had meant so much to him. Ray and some fellow teammates came together and self-funded a project to add lights to George Cole Field—a move that helped shape the future of Arkansas baseball. Johnny Ray’s footprint on the Razorback program can not be understated and echoes to this day.
Episode 114: Kevin Kopps
Kevin Kopps has been a Razorback for six years, but his final season with the Diamond Hogs is one for the history books — and so is his story. The sixth-year senior and pitching coach Matt Hobbs take us through Kopps’ journey — how reaching out to Arkansas himself as a high school pitcher, experiencing one of the worst years of his life and considering not returning for the 2021 season all led to him becoming the best pitcher in college baseball.
Episode 113: Casey Opitz
Arkansas fans never expected to have their starting catcher behind the plate this season. Heading into the 2020 campaign, Casey Optiz was expected to go pro following the season. But after the COVID-19 pandemic ended the season abruptly, the standout catcher was given an option to return to the Hill for one final year. Opitz takes us inside his decision and what this unexpected season has meant to him.
Episode 112: Tom Pagnozzi
MLB All-Star catcher Tom Pagnozzi spent one season at Arkansas in 1983. Before that year, he had never caught a game in his life. Former Razorback coach Norm DeBriyn took a chance on a guy transitioning to a new position and it changed the trajectory of his career forever. Pags went on to catch for 12 years in the Majors with the St. Louis Cardinals, winning three Gold Glove Awards. After an illustrious career, he chose to come back to where his catching career started, Fayetteville, Ark. He never lost his love for the game, spending years fundraising for the Razorback baseball program and helping develop a local charity for underprivileged youth in sports.
Episode 111: Christian Franklin
Christian Franklin was a preseason All-American and is a projected first-round draft pick for the 2021 MLB draft — but players like him don’t come around that often. Coming to Arkansas from Kansas, Franklin brought an unmatched love for the game and a commitment to one thing: being the best. From his dedication and preparation to his study of the game, he’s a unique player. Franklin had big shoes to fill as a center fielder for the Hogs following names like Dominic Fletcher and Andrew Benintendi — but he never shied away from expectation. He came in and made a splash for the Hogs almost immediately, helping to lead his first squad to Omaha in 2019. Then when COVID hit in 2020 and the facilities shut down, he and Robert Moore would meet up and jump fences at high school fields just to get their reps in. Nothing keeps Christian Franklin from success, and no one works harder to achieve it than this Arkansas outfielder.
Episode 110: Robert Moore
There are two things Robert Moore has been around for most of his life: baseball and winning. The son of Royals general manager Dayton Moore, Robert grew up on the diamond and has been a part of everything from an All-Star Game to a World Series win. And when you’re around ballparks and baseball all the time, it gives you an identity early in life. But what happens when you lose that identity? It was early on in Moore’s freshman year when he had that crisis. So how did he overcome it and become such an impact player for the Diamond Hogs? Now, Moore is thriving at Arkansas. He became the first Razorback to hit for the cycle since 1994, and has emerged as a fan-favorite for one of the best programs in college baseball. And for the guy known to Razorback fans as Baseball Bob, he’s just getting started.
Episode 109: Shauna Taylor & Mike Adams
In college athletics, the head coach is the unquestioned leader and face of the program. Most assistant coaches are completely anonymous. But that’s not the case for Arkansas women’s golf coach Shauna Taylor and assistant Mike Adams. You don’t get one without the other. The friendship dates back to Taylor’s days in junior golf, when Adams was her instructor, and continued through her college and professional playing career. And it was Adams who was there for support when Taylor’s playing days came to a premature end. But getting into coaching has been one of the best decisions of Taylor’s life. And when she was chosen to lead Arkansas’ program in 2007, she knew who to call. Over the past 14 years, the successes have been impressive, and include an SEC title and 13 straight NCAA Regional appearances. Friends through thick and thin, Taylor and Adams have built a successful program and culture at Arkansas.
Episode 108: Chris Bucknam
There is one thing no coach ever wants to do: follow a legend. The pressure to succeed is unmatched, and many coaches aren’t able to escape the shadow left behind. But that’s exactly what Chris Bucknam did. The Arkansas men’s track & field coach did what most would believe to be impossible — he took over for the most successful coach in NCAA history and was able to find success. Why did he want the job? How was he able to carry on and build on the success of John McDonnell? Chris Bucknam opens up about what it’s like to follow a legend.
Episode 107: Bubba Carpenter
Charles “Bubba” Carpenter, a Northwest Arkansas native, grew up in small towns south of Fayetteville — something he never let affect his baseball dreams. From practicing with his dad on a small field in Winslow, Ark. to being called up to the big leagues — baseball has always been the center of his life. Bubba was a three-time All-Southwest Conference player at Arkansas. Though successful with the Hogs, he didn’t have an illustrious pro career. Bubba signed as an amateur free agent with the Yankees’ organization in 1991. He then grinded in the minor leagues for nine years before finally being called up to the big leagues — a day he reflects on as one of the greatest in his life. Bubba’s is a story of perseverance paying off every step along the way.
Episode 106: Brady Toops
Brady Toops owns one of, if not the most well-known and monumental moments in Baum-Walker Stadium since its construction. Toops’ grand slam vs. Wichita State in 2004 has stood as a defining moment for Arkansas baseball. Being a part of such a shining moment fits Toops very well. He has always possessed an intrigue for the spotlight — from appearing on TV at the CWS, playing minor league baseball, to a reality television show appearance, to traveling the world as a musician, he’s done a little bit of everything. But after always chasing the spotlight in what he thought was happiness, his whole understanding of success collapsed. He hit his rock bottom and has since gone on a voyage to find a deep understanding of life, success and self.
Episode 105: An Elite Season
The Arkansas men’s basketball team had a historic season — the likes Hog fans hadn’t seen since its hay day in the 90s—and it was one to remember. Eric Musselman’s second season with the Razorbacks had it all: tough losses, a team gut check, come from behind victories, historic runs, the highest seeded NCAA bid in over 20 years and an Elite Eight appearance. We sat down with Coach Muss to talk about the amazing season and what his vision for his team is moving forward.
Episode 104: Braxton Burnside
Senior shortstop Braxton Burnside is Arkansas’ brand new single-season home run record holder and the glue that holds the Razorback softball team together. But it took her a while to find a home with the Hogs. The small-town Paragould, Ark., native set the high school home run record in the state, but was passed over by the Hogs during the recruiting process, only ever receiving a single letter from her home-state team. Without much interest from her dream school and a strong desire to play in the SEC, Burnside committed to Missouri, where she found success. After a coaching change in Columbia, she decided to transfer, and only had eyes for the Razorbacks. This is the story of how a small-town Arkansan — who only ever wanted to be a Hog — found her way home.
Episode 103: Nate Thompson
Nate Thompson is considered by many to be perhaps the best hitting coach in college baseball. During his time at Arkansas, the Razorbacks have led the SEC in nearly every offensive category and have produced first round talent such as No. 2 overall pick Heston Kjerstad. His success started from unlikely beginnings, as Thompson never played a single baseball game in high school. But Thompson always knew he wanted to be a coach, so he climbed the coaching ranks and found himself among the best in the business. What brought Thompson to Arkansas, and how did he become one of the best in the business?
Episode 102: Destiny Slocum
Arkansas fifth-year senior guard Destiny Slocum had several stops before landing on the Hill. The Idaho-native spent a year at Maryland, where she was National Freshman of the Year. Then she went back west to play at Oregon State for two seasons, where she earned two-time All-America honors. But her cross-country playing career wasn’t always what she envisioned: the inconsistency mirrored a childhood plagued by instability. Growing up, her mother battled breast cancer while raising Slocum and her four siblings practically by herself. With a father in and out of the home and a mother scraping by to give her five children a life, Slocum created a path for herself by playing basketball, but let the uncertainty at home guide her every decision, including where to attend school. Slocum always felt the duty to put her family first over doing what was best for her as an individual. This is the story of how Destiny Slocum found her own voice and eventually found her home at the University of Arkansas.
Episode 101: Kayla Green
Kayla Green is the starting catcher for the Razorback softball team and one of Arkansas’ top talents—but it was a long road to get here. Growing up with parents struggling with addiction, Kayla’s childhood norm was waking up every day not knowing if there would be food to eat. She stepped into a parental role for her two younger siblings before she was even a teenager. And for Kayla, there was only ever one true escape from her reality: softball. When she was 14 years old, her mother was arrested for breaking her parole, and Kayla’s long-time softball coach, Brian Jendro and his wife Nicole, decided to take her in. The Jendros provided Kayla with stability and opportunity she never had before, and she was able to achieve her softball dreams—committing to play at Arkansas with a full scholarship. She achieved her goals on the field, but not without learning to heal the scars of her past along the way.
Episode 100: Todd Schaefer
Todd Schaefer is the associate head coach of the Razorback women’s basketball team. Throughout his 20+ year career he’s done it all – high school, JUCO, D1, assistant coach, head coach, he was even on the scout team for his college football team – all of which perfectly prepared him for a career he never knew he wanted. Growing up, Schaefer always thought he would be a lawyer, but coaching opportunities fell into his lap. Along the way Schaefer lost his mother to cancer, was mentored by legendary coaches and met a lifelong friend, Mike Neighbors. The two formed a friendship bonded over basketball and life, always hoping to one day work together. The two got their chance at Washington, where Schaefer joined Neighbors’ staff to develop one of the best players in the nation, Kelsey Plum. After a season with the Huskies, he followed Neighbors to Arkansas. An unexpected 20+ year career in coaching, touching every level of the game, learning every step of the way, culminating in a spot at Arkansas helping his lifelong friend reach heights they used to dream about together.
Episode 99: Justin Smith
A year ago, Justin Smith was finishing up his junior season at Indiana. Today, he is a standout on the court and team leader for the Arkansas Razorbacks. After graduating in three years with a degree from IU’s prestigious Kelley School of Business, Smith was looking for the next spot to take his game to the next level. Coach Musselman immediately impressed Smith. Even though Arkansas wasn’t even originally on his radar, they became the frontrunners quickly. What is it about Musselman’s program that enticed a Big Ten native to take his talents to the SEC? Smith adds insight into the mind of a transfer, what goes into the process and just what gave Musselman the ultimate edge.
Episode 98: This. Is. Baseball.
In the last few decades Arkansas baseball has risen from practicing on the old fair grounds in North Fayetteville into a national powerhouse, winning regionals and making frequent trips to Omaha. But what does it take to get there? Great coaches, players, winning and facilities all play a part. The Hogs weren’t always postseason regulars. That changed with the Brady Toops grand slam in 2004 that helped Arkansas to its first trip to Omaha under Van Horn. That College World Series appearance increased statewide exposure and popularity, but what took it to the next level was investing in stadium expansions and state of the art facilities to bring in top recruits. Of course, no program can rise without the right person at the helm. We talked to head coach Dave Van Horn, legendary Razorback coach Norm DeBriyn, voice of the Razorbacks Chuck Barrett, former radio analyst Rick Schaeffer, and a fan who’s been there through it all—Hognoxious. This is the rise of a program. This. Is. Baseball.
Episode 97: Christy Smith
Christy Smith is the first name that comes to mind when most Arkansas fans think of Razorback Women’s Basketball. In 1998, the 9-seed Hogs played cinderella and made it to their first and only Final Four-led by senior leader, Christy Smith. We tell her story. The story of how a little girl growing up in the cornfields of Indiana, who picked basketball over cheerleading in first grade – who was recruited to Arkansas with an ear of corn – who was the first ever Razorback freshman to start at point guard day-one, became the most storied player in Arkansas Women’s Basketball history.
Episode 96: Jeremiah Bonsu
Jeremiah Bonsu, a graduate assistant coach at Arkansas, isn’t your typical story of the great player who decided to go into coaching once their illustrious career was complete – it is quite the opposite. Bonsu barely made his high school team his senior season. He only had one point to his name his entire career. How did a player that barely saw the floor in high school end up on a D1 basketball team, and is now looking at a promising coaching career? Bonsu’s story is a whirlwind tale full of failure, chance and perseverance – finding out a little about himself along the way.
Episode 95: Amber Shirey
Amber Shirey has been the glue for Arkansas women’s basketball for over 30 years. From her small-town roots in Newark, Ark., to writing her name in the Razorback record books, to recruiting some of the program’s most notable players as an assistant coach, to serving as director of operations; there isn’t a part of the women’s program that Amber Shirey hasn’t touched. For a pinnacle of a program, she is the last person who would boast about her success. Her humility has guided her to become a quiet but strong leader who everyone looks up to.
Episode 94: Khalil Garland
Student coach, Khalil Garland always wanted to play for the Razorbacks and was one of the top prospects in the state when he arrived at Arkansas in 2017. After undergoing his first routine physical with the team he was diagnosed with a rare heart condition — ending his playing career forever. Garland had to change his plans and find a new dream. This is the story of how he turned a career ending medical diagnosis into a new dream and purpose – while gaining a new perspective on life.
Episode 93: Building a Program with Mike Neighbors
Four years ago, Arkansas was picked 14th in the SEC. Now, they’ve started the season ranked 14th in the country, their highest ranking since 2003. How has Mike Neighbors turned the Razorback women’s basketball program around and taken it from being one of the worst programs in the league to one of the best? And what does he have in store for the future?
Episode 92: Moses Moody
He’s a legit four-star prospect, had offers from some of the best programs in college basketball, and is playing like one of the best freshmen in the country. But there’s something bigger at play here than just basketball for Moses Moody. He wants to have an impact — both on and off the court. Moody “gets it,” and understands that there is power in the path he chooses to follow. How’d he get this wise-beyond-his-years perspective? It’s rooted in his family life, but also in having to deal with big expectations from a young age. Those expectations took him from state champion at North Little Rock High School to prep school star at Montverde Academy. And even though Moody spent some time away from his home state, he’s motivated to make sure people know exactly what Arkansas is all about. With his talents — both on and off the court — Moody will be putting on a show for years to come.
Episode 91: Connor Vanover
The first thing you notice about Connor Vanover is the first thing everyone notices about Connor Vanover: He’s tall. Really tall. But there’s more to Vanover than just his height—he’s got serious game, too. It’s unusual, but it works: He’s a 7’3” big man who shoots it like a guard, at a career rate of nearly 40 percent from deep. And that’s not the only usual thing about Vanover’s journey, which took a roundabout path to Arkansas. After a stop at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, Vanover ended up at Cal. And just as things were starting to come together late in his freshman season, his coach got fired. Enter Eric Musselman and his staff, who convinced him to play for his home-state team, and follow in the footsteps of his mom — who holds the single-game blocks record for the Razorback women’s basketball team. Vanover has his sights set high. And at 7-foot-3, he might be close enough to reach them.
Episode 90: Jalen Catalon
He’s only been a full-time starter for a year, but Jalen Catalon has already become a fan favorite for his big plays — and even bigger hits. The redshirt freshman is already invoking memories of some of the safeties to ever play for the Razorbacks: Names like Atwater, Kennedy, Hamlin and Bua. And it’s with good reason. Catalon is the first SEC freshman since Eric Berry in 2007 to record at least 86 tackles and three interceptions in a season. And if 2020 was a full, 12-game season, there’d be several freshman records in jeopardy. But, like the season, Catalon’s journey has been anything but normal. Just like at Arkansas, Catalon got off to a fast start at the high school level, setting a school record for tackles in just his third game. He would play both safety and quarterback as a junior, earn Texas defensive player of the year honors, and earn a 4-star ranking. But then, just one game into his senior season, a torn ACL ended his high school career, one which some said could have been among the best in the state’s storied history. It was devastating. Catalon’s ‘why’ is to be one of the best. And if he has his way, this is a story that’s just getting started.
Episode 89: Eddie Jackson
When you’re as multi-talented as Eddie Jackson, it can be hard to figure out exactly what you want to do. Or, you can just be like Eddie and do it all. Jackson excelled at multiple sports as a kid — in addition to being one of the top track athletes in Texas, he was a standout in football and basketball. And after deciding to focus on football and track, he landed at Arkansas. Jackson had to overcome some adversity and a couple position changes as a freshman, but then made an instant impact — both on the field and on the track, where he would help the Razorbacks win four national titles. But always in the background? His love of food. And when his football career was over after more than four seasons in the NFL, Jackson lit a fire under his new passion. If there’s one thing Jackson can’t stand, it’s standing still. He’s always full of energy and on the move. Eddie Jackson always has something cookin’.
Episode 88: Eric Musselman – Basketball during a pandemic
2020 has presented a unique set of challenges for college coaches everywhere. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to be a part of everyday life, Eric Musselman enters his second season at Arkansas with a lot of unknowns. What we do know is this: The pandemic has made getting an idea of where Musselman is in the program-building process more difficult than usual. And with so many new faces on the roster, what challenges does that present? And why is coaching basketball in a pandemic so different than football? What will this season look like? This is Basketball in a Pandemic with Eric Musselman.
Episode 87: How it Works – Basketball Scheduling
Creating a nonconference basketball schedule is a game in and of itself. Few have learned to play that game better than Eric Musselman and his staff. Everything in his program is about finding competitive advantages — whether it’s through using advanced analytics, marketing or, in this case, scheduling. And the guy making it all happen is director of basketball operations Anthony Ruta, who is tasked with crafting a schedule that will help the Razorbacks reach the NCAA Tournament. The amount of work that goes into putting that puzzle together is fascinating. And, make no mistake, it is a puzzle. So how does Arkansas use scheduling to build a competitive advantage? From building depth charts for every team in the country to projecting where teams will finish in their conference… this is how it works.
Episode 86: Darren McFadden – Bring Dat Wood
No player is referred to as Arkansas’ G.O.A.T.—greatest of all time—more than Darren McFadden. And rightfully so: He’s one of the best running backs in college football history. But for the Little Rock native, the path to greatness wasn’t always apparent. For one, he had to overcome obstacles in his childhood. And that’s where football came in, serving as an escape of sorts for McFadden and keeping him out of trouble.
Is Darren McFadden the greatest of all time? That’s for each Razorback fan to decide. But this is how he captivated a state and made the people of Arkansas proud.
Episode 85: Coach Pittman on Trust
There’s no question that Sam Pittman has captured the college football world’s attention. Pittman has already doubled Arkansas’ SEC win total of the past three seasons. So what has he done that has the Razorbacks looking like an entirely different program? Pittman has earned the trust of his players, and is honest and up front. Making no secret that he’s at Arkansas to stay, we go inside Pittman’s first year on the job to find out what he’s done and how he’s doing it.
Episode 84: Grant Morgan
There’s a certain respect earned from hard work and determination. For Arkansans, it’s often referred to as the fighting Razorback spirit. It’s grit, toughness, and most of all, the underdog mentality — when others doubt you, you get better. It’s the DNA of Razorback linebacker Grant Morgan, who’s been out to prove himself since Day 1. When tempted by doubt, Morgan just works harder and never quits believing in himself. After beginning his career as a walk-on, now, Morgan is a starter and captain who’s earned everything. He’s Arkansas built and Razorback tough. The kid from Greenwood is no longer being overlooked.
Episode 83: Joe Dean Davenport
For some, football is a way of life. For others, it’s just what they do, not who they are. And for Joe Dean Davenport, he’s always been a rancher at heart. He didn’t really get into football until junior high, and didn’t even really know the rules until high school. For Davenport, it was more something to do than anything else. As it turned out, though, he was pretty good. He started getting recruiting letters and invited on visits. But Davenport only had eyes for the Razorbacks and a campus he grew up less than 30 minutes away from. In his time at Arkansas, he would turn into an NFL-caliber player. And even though there’s one game he still hasn’t watched, his time with the Hogs was a success. So why, when presented with an opportunity to play at the next level, would he simply walk away, only to come back to the NFL a year later? And how has his life taken him full circle, from the farm to the NFL and back?
Episode 81: Madre Hill
In many ways, Madre Hill helped save Arkansas football. It’s no secret the Razorbacks struggled in their last years in the Southwest Conference and the SEC had proven to be a challenge. Enter Hill. Considered the top running back prospect in the nation after a record-setting career at Malvern High, he had offers from all the big-time programs. But he chose Arkansas because he wanted to help rescue the program. And when Hill got his chance as a sophomore, he was as good as advertised. He ran for what was then a school-record 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns, leading the Razorbacks to the SEC West title. But then… disaster. Hill tore his ACL in the SEC Championship Game and missed the 1996 season. Then, in the spring of ’97, he injured his OTHER knee. But he kept fighting, came back for the ’98 season and remarkably still made it to the NFL. It’s worth wondering what might have been had Hill not suffered those injuries. Perhaps he’d be alongside Darren McFadden as the best to ever wear a Razorback uniform. But Hill doesn’t dwell on the past. He’s grateful for the time he had helping to rescue the Razorbacks.
Episode 82: Marvin Caston
There’s something to be said for the “pull” of the Razorbacks. You come to the University of Arkansas from outside the state, and you end up never wanting to leave. And in Marvin Caston’s case, that’s exactly what happened, even though he didn’t know it at the time. Caston is the product of hard work growing up in northern Louisiana. He worked from a young age to help provide for his family, and football provided a way to have some fun. And though his Razorback career wouldn’t get off to the best of starts, he ended up being a part of Houston Nutt’s 1998 and ’99 teams that went 17-7 over a two-year stretch. And when the opportunities arose to keep helping the university and its community—first in the compliance department and now with the Razorback Foundation—he jumped at the chance. Marvin Caston may not have originally planned on being a Razorback, but Arkansas is lucky to have him.
Episode 80: Ryan Mallett
Ryan Mallett is one of the best players in Razorback history. But his college career didn’t start with the Razorbacks and from his perspective, there was a good reason why. Mallett’s talent was evident at a young age. Michigan was the first to take notice and eventually earned Mallett’s commitment, but after the legendary Lloyd Carr retired, Mallett’s boyhood dream of becoming a Hog began to look like more of a reality. After sitting out a year because of transfer rules, it became clear that Ryan Mallett was a perfect fit for head coach Bobby Petrino. And in 2010, Arkansas made its first-ever BCS bowl appearance. Though there were ups and downs, missteps and misunderstandings. Ryan Mallett gave Arkansas some of its best SEC memories, culminating as an NFL starter and eight year league veteran. Now, he’s doing what he grew up around: coaching ball.
Episode 79: Feleipe Franks
To say it was a long and winding road that brought Feleipe Franks to Arkansas might be an understatement. Born into a military family and raised on farm tending to horses, values matter to Franks… even though past perception might be different. After originally committing to LSU, Franks ended up at Florida. He split time starting as a redshirt freshman, and then found success in 2018—leading the Gators to a Peach Bowl win. But questions about his maturity lingered. Then… heartbreak. In the third game of the 2019 season, Franks suffered a devastating leg injury that cost him the season. Following the injury, Franks realized his future lay elsewhere. After the decision to transfer, he’s ready to start fresh at Arkansas AND leave the doubters in his rear view. How has he grown from mistakes to become a better leader — so much so that he’s now an Arkansas team captain? Feleipe Franks is ready to make a lasting impression on the Razorbacks.
Episode 78: Parker Goins
She’s one of the best players for a nationally ranked Arkansas women’s soccer program. She’s been named to an All-SEC First Team, and is a constant scoring threat. But Parker Goins almost didn’t end up at Arkansas. Recruited by soccer powerhouse North Carolina — a program that’s won 21 of 31 national titles — why did Goins choose the on-the-rise Razorbacks? Friendship played a key role there, as it does throughout her story. Goins only started playing soccer because she wanted to spend time with her friends. And since then, those friends have been by her side for all the big moments, both good and bad. Now a senior, Goins is ready to take the SEC by storm once again. And as always, her friends will be right there with her.
Episode 77: Scott Fountain
He’s regarded as a special teams savant, and one of the hardest workers in the business. And he just so happens to be Sam Pittman’s assistant head coach and special teams coordinator. Scott Fountain has been a part of four teams that have played for national titles, and has played a key role as a special teams coordinator for some unforgettable moments, including the “Kick Six.” Along the way, he’s coached alongside some of game’s best coaches, including Bobby Bowden, Mark Richt, Gene Chizik and Kirby Smart. Fountain’s career — one that began coaching high schoolers in his native Alabama — has led to him becoming one of the preeminent special teams coaches in the game. Now, it’s worth asking: What does that mean for Arkansas? If it’s true that “special teams wins championships,” then hiring a guru is a good place to start.
Episode 76: Rakeem Boyd
Arkansas has a long history of producing great running backs. And Rakeem Boyd is no exception. His career average of 6.17 yards per carry would rank second in school history among running backs, behind only Felix Jones. And only three running backs in Arkansas history rushed for more yards through their first two seasons than Boyd: Dickey Morton, Alex Collins and Darren McFadden. The McFadden comparisons come naturally: Boyd wears his No. 5, and has made no secret of the fact that he wants to be like one of the all-time greats. So how did Boyd end up trying to chase down Arkansas’ rushing records? When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, he and his family were evacuated and relocated to Houston. And it was only then when he started to play football. He would head to Texas A&M, but had to leave after a redshirt year because of poor grades. That led him to Independence Community College and Last Chance U. And after a starring turn at the JUCO, Boyd is making a name for himself at the top level of college football.
Episode 75: Anthony Lucas
Anthony Lucas was ahead of his time. The talented receiver made big play after big play and rewrote the Arkansas record books in the late ‘90s. Those records would stand until the age of wide-open offense came to college football. And yet he still holds the career record for most 100-yard receiving games. He’s one of the greats. But how much did he have to overcome to get there? Lucas didn’t have a good enough ACT score to qualify out of high school. But instead of going the JUCO route, he went ahead and enrolled at Arkansas, focusing on his grades. When he got on the field a year later, he made an impact. But the good times wouldn’t last: Lucas suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first game of his sophomore season. And to top it off, his coach got fired. But Anthony Lucas isn’t the type who wants pity. Instead, he got to work. And he became one of the best receivers in school history, responsible for countless fan-favorite moments.
Episode 74: Ken Hamlin
Ken “The Hammer” Hamlin definitely earned his nickname. Hamlin was a nightmare for opposing wide receivers, who knew that if they ventured into Hamlin’s part of the field, they better brace for impact. He was an incredible athlete who found success at Arkansas, where he left as the school’s all-time tackles leader and was beloved by fans for his hard hits and energy. After leaving the Razorbacks following his junior season, he would become a second-round draft pick by the Seahawks, and would go on to make the 2007 Pro Bowl. But just because you’re known as “The Hammer” doesn’t mean you’re invincible. And that’s something Hamlin knows all too well. How did he almost lose everything one night outside a Seattle nightclub? And how did that one night help him change his life forever?
Episode 73: Keith Burns
1998 was an exciting year for Razorback fans. Led by first-year coach Houston Nutt, the Hogs put a much-needed jolt of excitement into the fan base. A big part of that was Arkansas’ Code Red defense, led by first-year coordinator Keith Burns. But Code Red was more than a scheme — it was a way of life. And Burns was the perfect guy to lead it. For Burns, his passion for the Razorbacks began during his playing career under Lou Holtz in the early ‘80s. That passion is what led him to leave USC and join Nutt’s staff at Arkansas. And for two seasons, Burns and the Razorback defense didn’t back down from anyone. So how did it all come together and form a perfect storm that terrorized SEC offenses? It was the right coach in the right place at the right time.
Episode 72: Rion Rhoades
Junior college football is the place where urban legends are born. Some of the best — past and present — went to a JUCO, including guys like Aaron Rodgers, Warren Moon and Cam Newton. And while JUCO football was brought more into the mainstream by the Netflix series “Last Chance U,” it isn’t exactly glamorous. Just ask new Arkansas linebackers coach Rion Rhoades. Rhoades spent the past 14 seasons as a JUCO head coach, including 13 years at Hutchinson Community College. He’s seen it all. But how does a lifelong JUCO coach fit in at Arkansas, where he’s getting his first taste of the Power 5 level? And how have the fires he’s dealt with at the JUCO level prepared him for what he calls a dream job?
Episode 71: Arkansas joins the SEC
Thirty years ago, something happened that would change the course of Arkansas athletics forever — the Razorbacks left the Southwest Conference for the SEC. It’s a move that has been a boon for the Razorbacks — not only did they join what’s become the best conference in collegiate athletics, but the financial benefits have allowed Arkansas to be nationally competitive with some of the best facilities in the country. But the move didn’t happen overnight. It took thought, planning and vision from legendary Razorback athletic director Frank Broyles. Without him, who knows where Arkansas might’ve ended up? So how did everything come together? What were those meetings between Arkansas and the SEC like? And what made the Razorbacks attractive to a league looking to expand? In this episode, former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer takes us back to how it all happened, with the help of archived audio from the late Frank Broyles.
Episode 70: David Patrick
Basketball has taken David Patrick all over the world—literally. Born in Bermuda, Patrick grew up in Australia, where he discovered the game that would change his life. A high school move to America helped him catch the eye of coaches, and he would be part of a Final Four team at Syracuse before transferring to Louisiana-Lafayette to finish his college career. Then, it was on to a pro career that would take him to Australia, England and Spain. But along the way, he never had plans on being a coach. So how did a $5,000 job launch the career of one of the top recruiters in the country? He’s landed players like Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova and Ben Simmons. And after leaving his first head coaching job, he has his sights set on helping Eric Musselman build the Razorback basketball program. It’s time to get to know Arkansas assistant David Patrick.
Episode 69: Tyler Wilson
Tyler Wilson was always talented. He set records in high school as a quarterback and pitcher at Greenwood High School. Then, he came to Arkansas and rewrote the record books. After playing briefly as a true freshman in 2008, Wilson sat for two years behind Ryan Mallett, but burst onto the scene against Auburn in 2010 after an injury to the starter. And then in 2011, he quarterbacked Arkansas to its first 11-win season since 1977, and entered 2012 as one of the top QBs in the country. And though things went sideways quickly for the Razorbacks in Wilson’s senior season, he still left Arkansas as one of the best to ever do it. But it almost didn’t happen. How did one of the best quarterbacks in school history almost never suit up for the Hogs? How does he look back on that fateful 2012 season? And does he still have lingering doubts that he picked the right sport?
Episode 68: Travis Swanson
Travis Swanson holds a rare distinction in Razorback football history: He’s one of only a handful of guys who played for three different head coaches in his Arkansas career. Recruited by Bobby Petrino, Swanson was the starting center for the most successful two-year stretch in program history. But by the time Petrino was gone, Swanson still had two years of eligibility, meaning he played for both John L. Smith and Bret Bielema, as well. Despite the Razorbacks going just 7-17 over his final two seasons, Swanson continued to develop. How did he go from being an unheralded prospect out of Houston to one of the top offensive linemen in the country? Swanson would take a strong work ethic all the way to a five-year career in the NFL. And then, all of sudden, he went out on own his terms. How did one major life change have such a profound impact on Travis Swanson that he decided to put his football career in the rearview? It’s been a memorable ride for Swanson, who’s always ready to outwork everybody else.
Episode 67: Jake Bequette
For most football players, making it to the NFL is the high point of their careers. Then again, Jake Bequette isn’t like most football players. Sure, his football life reads like a movie script: He was a third generation Razorback from Little Rock who ended up playing a vital role on teams that went 21-5 over a two-year stretch. And perhaps the program’s biggest win in the SEC era — against LSU to clinch a Sugar Bowl berth — came in his hometown, in the stadium where he played in high school. He topped off his Razorback career by getting drafted by the most successful NFL franchise of the past two decades — the New England Patriots. But his four-year NFL career was marred by injuries, and when he retired in 2015, he knew what he wanted to do: join the Army. And it’s been the culmination of a longtime goal for Bequette, who has completed Ranger School and served a tour in Iraq as a First Lieutenant in the 101st Airborne Division. While many Razorback fans will remember what he did on the field, Bequette hopes to one day be known for serving a greater purpose.
Episode 66: Tony Bua
Tony Bua has never lacked passion. That fire and competitiveness—and plenty of big hits—made him an easy fan favorite at Arkansas. So it’s hard to imagine that the Razorbacks’ all-time leader in tackles almost wasn’t a Hog at all—and almost wasn’t playing major college football. Bua was undersized and under-recruited in high school. So how did a move to a new state and new school right before his senior year change everything? Once he got a chance, Bua did everything he could to make an impact, and his career with the Razorbacks was nothing short of electric. He was part of Arkansas teams that won seven games against top 25 teams, played in two seven overtime wins and won an SEC West title. Razorback fans won’t forget Tony Bua anytime soon.
Episode 65: The Brewers
They’re two of the best players to come through the Razorback basketball program. And they just so happen to be father and son. In fact, despite playing decades apart, Ron and Ronnie Brewer right next to each other on Arkansas’ all-time scoring list, separated by just 24 points. They’re also the first father-son duo to play at the same school and for the same NBA team in basketball history. One of the Triplets, Ron helped lead Eddie Sutton’s Razorback teams to new heights, including as the top scorer on the 1978 Final Four team. And 28 years later, it was Ronnie’s turn to be the leading scorer on an NCAA Tournament team. What was it like to grow up as a standout basketball player who just so happened to be the son of an Arkansas legend? Their relationship is just as much about life off the court, including a focus on giving back to the community through the Ronnie Brewer Foundation. It’s part of what makes the two of them stand out, and what makes their bond as father and son so strong to this day.
Episode 64: Heston Kjerstad
Heston Kjerstad was the SEC Freshman of the Year, an All-SEC and All-America performer during his Razorback career, in which he hit .345 with 35 home runs and 124 RBIs over 145 games. But as good as he was in his time at Arkansas, did you know Kjerstad wasn’t highly touted or recruited as a high schooler? Dave Van Horn and his staff knew they had something special on their hands with the Amarillo, Texas native. And Kjerstad delivered time and time again for the Razorbacks. He helped lead the Diamond Hogs to back-to-back trips to the College World Series, and became a fan favorite for his mammoth home runs. And while his Arkansas career was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his future in baseball is brighter than ever.
Episode 63: Carson Shaddy
What do you do when the worst moment of your career is on display for all to see? Carson Shaddy relied on everything he had learned in his baseball career and did what any leader would do: He owned it. And it’s that leadership trait — not one moment — that defines Shaddy’s Razorback career. He started his career as a non-scholarship player and made appearances at every position except pitcher, shortstop and first base. He wore his emotions on his sleeve, and came through time and time again with big hits in clutch situations. For a Fayetteville kid who grew up wanting to be a Razorback so much that he’d do anything to make it happen, it’s been a wild ride — filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. But through it all, Carson Shaddy was the same guy every day of his Arkansas career: a relatable leader who endeared himself to Hog fans.
Episode 62: Jarius Wright
Did you know that, statistically speaking, Jarius Wright is one of the best players in Razorback history? Wright holds the school record for career receiving yards AND the single-season record for touchdown catches. And he did it all despite being one of the smallest guys on the field. Coming out of Warren, Ark., alongside teammates Greg Childs and Chris Gragg, Wright was first recruited by Houston Nutt and decided to stick with Arkansas when Bobby Petrino was hired. It turned out to be the right move. He was a key cog on Arkansas’ most successful teams of the Razorbacks’ SEC era in 2010 and 2011. Those teams went a combined 21-5, and Wright was front and center. So how’d he do it? How did a small kid from a small town in Arkansas end up making big play after big play for the Razorbacks, and then in the NFL? This is Jarius Wright’s story.
Episode 61: Joe Kleine
Few former Razorbacks have had as fascinating a pro career as Joe Kleine. After all, how did a kid from Slater, Mo., end up playing alongside guys like Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan over the course of a 15-year NBA career? As it turns out, his journey would intersect with Jordan’s multiple times—in the NBA, in the Olympics, and at Arkansas. How he got to Arkansas is a story in and of itself, but once he transferred in, he established himself as one of the best big men in Razorback history. He would go on to win a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, and was the No. 6 pick in the 1985 NBA Draft. He would play for seven different teams, but most memorably, he had a front-row seat to “The Last Dance” as a member of the 1998 Chicago Bulls. So what was it like to play with Michael Jordan? How was Scottie Pippen? And what about the always-colorful Dennis Rodman? This is the story of one hell of a ride that led Joe Kleine to the last dance.
Episode 60: Frank Ragnow
From a talent standpoint, it’s no surprise Frank Ragnow has found success at the highest level. He was a 4-star prospect with offers from some of the best programs in the nation, an All-American and All-SEC performer at Arkansas, and was a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Ragnow is a guy who loves life and is the same person every day. But that doesn’t mean his journey to becoming a starting center in the NFL has been easy. During his sophomore year at Arkansas, his mom was diagnosed with cancer. And while she has recovered, the news rocked Ragnow. As a senior, he suffered a season – and college career-ending – ankle injury that required surgery. But it was during his junior year when his world shattered: his dad suddenly passed away after a heart attack. And dealing with the grief has understandably been a struggle. Through it all, Ragnow is driven by the desire to compete against the best. Just don’t expect him to change who he is.
Episode 59: Danyelle Musselman
Danyelle Musselman didn’t envision herself being where she is today. That’s not surprising given her past career as a national sportscaster, working for the likes of ESPN and Fox Sports. But sometimes, life takes you in a different direction, and you end up on an unexpected but rewarding path—in this case, being a mom and a coach’s wife. So how did Danyelle and Eric Musselman meet? And how did one big decision—and a career sacrifice—impact the entire Musselman clan, and put them on the path that led to the University of Arkansas? This is her story.
Episode 58: Dusty Hannahs
Former Arkansas Razorbacks guard Dusty Hannahs has made a career of proving the doubters wrong. He’s heard the criticisms, and it just makes him work harder. Make no mistake: Hannahs excelled at Arkansas, leading the team in scoring in his two seasons on The Hill after transferring from Texas Tech. Now he’s finding success in the G League and has twice made it to the NBA — the pinnacle of the sport — on 10-day contracts. So why is he still fighting negative perceptions about his game, or the idea that he’s just a shooter? His story is one of how criticism has fueled his fire to be the best player he can be, and fulfill his dream of being an NBA mainstay.
Episode 57: Chris Crutchfield
Chris Crutchfield knows how to recruit. He helped Oklahoma land eventual top-six NBA Draft picks in Buddy Hield and Trae Young, and he’s now aided Eric Musselman in putting together a top-six signing class at Arkansas. So how has he done it? What’s the key to being an elite recruiter? We chat with him about those topics and more—including why he decided to join Musselman’s staff—in this all-new episode.
Episode 56: Corey Beck – Part 2
Corey Beck was the heart and soul of the Arkansas Razorbacks’ 1994 national championship team, and was beloved by fans for his toughness, grit and grind. But he also feels misunderstood. In Part 2 of our two-part story, we talk with him about his post-Arkansas playing days in the CBA (where he would run into Eric Musselman), the struggles he sometimes faced in his life after basketball, and how one terrifying night led to him turning his life around.
Episode 55: Corey Beck – Part 1
When you think of the name Corey Beck, what comes to mind? He didn’t win a lot of awards, but without him, there probably isn’t a national title to celebrate. His toughness and competitive nature made him a fan favorite, but where did that grit and grind come from? It started with him growing up and playing ball in Memphis, and via a trip to the JUCO ranks, would end up with him finding the perfect match for him as a coach in Hall of Famer Nolan Richardson. Hard work would help his game flourish, as he became the unquestioned leader on the best Razorback team in history. In the first episode of a two-part story, it’s how Corey Beck’s early life helped Arkansas win the 1994 national championship.
Episode 54: Inside the Mind of Sam Pittman
Being a career assistant coach in major college football gives Razorback head coach Sam Pittman a unique perspective. When you’ve spent you’re career learning from some of the best in the business, you’re going to have a great idea of what works and what doesn’t. And that extends into recruiting, an area where Pittman has had tremendous success throughout his career. And relationships with current players are just as important. Pittman is going to tell you what’s on his mind and how he feels. He’s transparent and honest, qualities that resonate in the state of Arkansas. In this conversation, we go inside Pittman’s coaching mind to learn what makes him a great recruiter, why honesty is the best policy, and what being a “players’ coach” really means.
Episode 53: Building the Program with Muss
The offseason came quicker for college basketball than anyone expected. But Arkansas and head coach Eric Musselman got right to work. From posting viral videos on social media and marketing, to statistical breakdowns and helping his guys improve, we go behind the scenes of building a program.
Episode 52: Earl Boykins
The first thing you notice about Earl Boykins is that he wasn’t your average NBA player. Standing at just 5-foot-5, he still ranks as the second-shortest player in NBA history — and has been fighting perception his entire life. Because of his height, Boykins wasn’t on the recruiting radar of major college basketball teams, but still managed to find some NCAA Tournament magic. How’d he do it? And how, despite doubts, did he manage to eventually carve out a role in the NBA? We cover it all in this episode, from getting his shot in the NBA to what he’s doing now at Arkansas with Eric Musselman.
Episode 51: Kendal Briles
In high school, Kendal Briles was a QB, living the dream that is the Friday Night Lights of Texas HS football. His dad was a Texas coaching legend. You might think that Kendal would follow his dad’s footsteps and get into coaching, but that’s not what happened… at least not immediately. But he got a chance when his dad moved to the college ranks and hasn’t looked back. We chat with Kendal about his journey to joining Sam Pittman’s staff at Arkansas, his offensive philosophy and what he’s learned along the way.
Episode 50: Mason Jones
Mason Jones is in the thick of the conversation for SEC Player of the Year. But getting to that point hasn’t been easy. In our 50th episode, we talk with him about why he was overshadowed by his brother and sister—who would go on to win a national title at Duke and set assist records at Texas A&M, respectively. Mason tells us about why he struggled with weight as a kid, not getting major college offers and going the JUCO route. Now he’s setting records and leading Arkansas in scoring … and he’s not living in anyone’s shadow.
Episode 49: Matt Hobbs
How do you get a player past the point of being scared to fail? Getting his pitchers to believe they have the stuff to succeed is Matt Hobbs’ M.O. We chat with Arkansas’ pitching coach and learn how he does just that, becoming known as one of the top coaches in the game when it comes to using analytics and technology. Hobbs takes us through his coaching journey, why he loves to learn and why working at Arkansas is the best baseball job in the country.
Episode 48: Alexis Tolefree
Alexis Tolefree was told she was too small to play in the SEC. Now, she’s one of the best shooters in the league. We get to know the senior standout, and talk about her love for collecting sneakers (3:15), as well as how she developed her work ethic and wouldn’t let her size define her (7:57). She tells us about her relationship with her mom and the sacrifices that went into creating her basketball career (17:00). We hear the story of how she lost a ping-pong game to Mike Neighbors that helped seal her commitment to the Razorbacks (26:10), and the difficulties of transferring from a JUCO and adjusting to major college life (31:25). Finally, we get into what defines her and who she wants to be (35:17).
Episode 47: Inside the Mind of Dave Van Horn
Dave Van Horn wants to win a national championship for his alma mater. In this episode, we go inside the mind of the Razorbacks’ head coach. We talk about building a winning culture (5:00), how he runs practice (18:44) and his relationship with umpires (23:38). DVH tells us about the role of analytics in his program (28:59) and how he game plans for an SEC series (30:44). Finally, we get into how he’s changed in his time at Arkansas and his desire to bring home a national title (38:43).
Episode 46: Barry Odom
Barry Odom is regarded as one of the best defensive minds in college football. We talk to him about his career, including how he found himself being the new defensive coordinator at Arkansas (2:13). We talk about what makes a good defense in today’s game (11:11), and about how he got into coaching and what his time at Missouri was like (17:00). Finally, he tells us what his vision is for building a defense at Arkansas (25:55).
Episode 45: Jimmy Whitt Jr.
Jimmy Whitt Jr. is not your typical college basketball player. We sit down with him to talk about everything from his play on the court to his journey off it, starting with how he ended up at Arkansas and what led to him transferring (2:13). He tells us why he ended up transferring back to the Razorbacks (7:55), and about his unique play on the court (15:00). We talk about what it’s like to play for Eric Musselman (19:14) and how he thinks his teammates would describe him (26:30). Finally, we get some thoughts from him on this year’s squad (28:05).
Episode 44: Sidney Moncrief
Sidney Moncrief is a Basketball Hall of Famer and a member of the legendary “Triplets” who led Arkansas to the 1978 Final Four. We start our conversation with the five-time NBA All-Star about what he’s most proud of in his career (3:25), what growing up in Arkansas was like and how he started playing basketball. We talk about how he ended up at Arkansas with Eddie Sutton (16:06), and how Sutton helped unlock the Triplets’ potential (23:40). Moncrief tells us what made him a great defensive player (37:35) and even shares a hilarious Michael Jordan story (40:16). Finally, we talk about what it was like to get the call that he was heading to the Hall of Fame (46:50).
Episode 43: Matt Zimmerman
Matt Zimmerman is all Razorback, no matter what. We sit down with the current radio color analyst for men’s basketball games to talk about his life and career, starting with growing up in Arkansas and the difficulty of transitioning to his new role (5:56). We talk about how he became a student manager with the Razorback basketball team (20:09) and his role in the “Strollin’ with Nolan” game (28:34). He tells us about his time in the Army and becoming a high school coach, and how he ended up on Mike Anderson’s staff at UAB, Missouri and Arkansas (35:35). We get into his transition into his new role as radio analyst (47:38), and finally, he shares a must-listen story about finding a lucky penny (56:14).
Episode 42: Isaiah Joe
Isaiah Joe is one of the best shooters in college basketball, and we sat down with him to help Hog fans get to know one of the Razorbacks’ stars. We begin our conversation with him always wanting to be a Razorback (2:04) and putting in the work to continually get better (7:30). He talks about what it’s like to play for Eric Musselman (11:52), and why he wants to be known as more than just a shooter (14:21). We get to know Isaiah a little better, talking about everything from favorite TV shows and movies to who he thinks is the best basketball player of all time (19:45). Finally, we get his thoughts on where he sees his future in basketball (26:53).
Episode 41: Mike Neighbors
Mike Neighbors’ dream has always been to be the head coach of Arkansas’ women’s basketball team. His coaching story starts with a conversation on how getting cut from the Razorback baseball team spurred him on to try coaching (2:49). We talk about why he’s eliminated “goals” from the program (7:50) and how he started his coaching career at the high school level (13:54). Neighbors tells us about how having his first heart attack at 29 changed everything for him (16:45), and how that journey led to him getting his first head coaching job at Washington (26:11). Finally, we get into how playing guitar helps him decompress (42:00), and how he’d describe himself as a coach (43:29).
Episode 40: Sam Pittman
Sam Pittman is the new Head Hog, in this episode we tell his story. We start with how he fell in love with the Razorbacks as a teenager (4:00), and how getting offered the head coaching job is one of the highlights of his life (9:10). We talk about what he looks like as a head coach (21:31), and how he plans to recruit at Arkansas (27:36). Finally, we get into how he wants to build a staff (36:07) and how he plans on making this his final coaching stop (39:29).
Episode 39: David Bazzel
Few have been better ambassadors for college football in Arkansas than former Razorback linebacker David Bazzel. We sat down with “the Baz” to hear his story, starting with how he ended up at Arkansas coming out of Florida (3:16). We talk about what it was like to go through a coaching change (9:03), and his memories of playing for the Razorbacks (18:25). He tells us how he got into media (25:25), and how the Broyles Award was founded (36:32). We talk about the creation of the Golden Boot trophy (39:06), and finally, what he wants his legacy to be (47:00).
Episode 38: Corey Williams
Corey Williams has coached under Eddie Sutton, been a college head coach and won a world championship with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. We get to know the Razorback basketball assistant, starting with what he likes about Eric Musselman (4:00) and his relationship with Eddie Sutton (10:45). He tells the story of how he was selected in both the NFL and NBA Drafts (12:55), and we chat about his experience playing with Jordan and the Bulls (19:06). Finally, we get into the lessons he learned from playing in a championship environment (28:15).
Episode 37: Clay Moser
Clay Moser has more than a decade of experience in the NBA, including coaching LeBron James last season, and is at the forefront of analytics. We sat down with him to tell his story, starting with working with LeBron and the Lakers (4:28), and how he got into coaching at NC State with Jim Valvano (9:08). He tells us an incredible and funny Valvano story (12:53), and how he sees analytics in basketball (21:00). Finally, we get into how he plans on leading the analytics charge at Arkansas (30:00).
Episode 36: Brandon Allen
Brandon Allen is a lot of things, including an Arkansas school record holder, a two-time bowl winner and an NFL quarterback. But perhaps more than anything, he’s as cool a customer as they come. We sit down with the former Hog to talk about getting his first NFL start and win, and what that experience has been like (3:43). We talk about how he started playing football and became a quarterback (15:35), and how he always wanted to play for the Hogs (20:43). Later, we get into the crazy early parts of his Razorback career (23:42), battling through injuries and criticism (30:20). Finally, we discuss how his career has gone so far and how he remembers his time at Arkansas (36:39).
Episode 35: Chelsea Dungee
Arkansas women’s basketball standout Chelsea Dungee is already a school record holder and is on the Wooden Award watch list. She tells us her powerful and emotional story, starting with what she feels her purpose is and her goal of being a first-round WNBA Draft pick (5:07). Chelsea talks about how her mom inspires her and how she learned from her when their home burned down in high school (9:27). We talk about what kind of teammate she is (19:19), and how she says she doesn’t need to get away from the game and recharge (23:23). Finally, we get into why she’s a bad loser (28:40) and not letting her emotions get the best of her on the court (30:40).
Episode 34: Chris Gragg
We sit down with former Razorback Chris Gragg and go behind the scenes of what it was like to be a player during the Bobby Petrino era. We start with Chris getting recruited by Houston Nutt and being a part of one of the best signing classes in program history (2:45). He tells us about growing up in Warren, Ark., (10:17) and then the successes with the Razorbacks and getting to the Sugar Bowl (16:00). We talk about what it was like to play for Petrino (20:25). Chris tells us about playing for John L. Smith, and why things just weren’t the same (26:26). Finally, we get into how Chris overcame injuries to make it in the NFL, and what the draft process was like (33:29).
Episode 33: Inside the Mind of Muss
We go inside the mind of first-year men’s basketball coach Eric Musselman in the latest episode. We start by talking about the culture he wants to build at Arkansas (6:52), and how knowledge can help the team and program get better every day (9:47). We discuss what he thinks helps players and leads to success (16:27), and what game and practice prep looks like for he and his staff (28:14). Finally, we get into how he wants to attack recruiting top players to Arkansas (41:13).
Episode 32: Jim Lindsey
In many ways, Jim Lindsey defines what it means to be a Razorback. Using archived audio from Jim and conversations with his sons, Lyndy and John David — as well as his grandson Jack — we tell his story. We start at the beginning, with Jim’s early life and how he developed his passion for the Razorbacks (2:43). You’ll hear the story of how he rallied the Hogs vs. Texas in 1965 despite having broken ribs and his success with Arkansas (9:43). We get into the start of his professional career (16:19), his unsuccessful run for governor (24:56), and how his impact on the University of Arkansas continued after his playing days (31:28). Finally, we talk to his grandson, Jack, a third-generation Razorback (39:25), and discuss Jim’s legacy (43:09).
Episode 31: How it Works: Football Road Game
Ever wonder what it takes for a college football team to go on the road? We take you behind the scenes with the help of Jake Rosch, the director of football equipment operations at the University of Arkansas. We start with gear distribution, and how it’s decided who gets what and what the team wears (4:00). Then, we talk about packing up all the equipment for road games, and everything that goes into it (13:57), as well as player and coach superstitions (24:31). We get the inside scoop on what visiting locker rooms are like (31:06), and finally, we get Jake’s take on why he and his crew like doing what they do (36:13).
Episode 30: Colby Hale
Colby Hale has done things with the soccer program at Arkansas that no other coach could, so we sat down with him to learn how he’s done it. We start with how selling security systems prepared him to become a soccer coach, and how problem solving is a big part of who he is (4:45). We talk about how personal and team growth only comes from being outside your comfort zone, and the impact it has on his program (8:43). Colby tells us about how a family move to England got him into soccer, and about having a fighter pilot dad (19:03). We get into the growing popularity of soccer in the U.S. (23:48), and finally, how he’s gotten total ownership and buy-in from his players (30:15).
Episode 29: Houston Nutt
We sit down with former Arkansas coach Houston Nutt for a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation, starting with what it’s like for him to be out of coaching (5:00). Nutt talks about his life growing up and getting recruited by Bear Bryant and Frank Broyles (13:10). We get into his playing career at Arkansas and why he transferred to Oklahoma State (19:00), and how he got his break in coaching (25:08). He tells us how he got the Arkansas job (30:46) and what made that 1998 season so special (37:53). We get his side of the story on his famous postgame interview after upsetting No. 1 LSU in 2007 (47:07), and into the distractions of the 2006-07 seasons (53:33).
Episode 28: 48 Hours
In a span of just 48 hours in 2017, Arkansas athletics made a couple of big hires. For the first time, we give you an inside look at how it all went down with the help of then-interim AD Julie Cromer. We get into her becoming the interim AD (6:00) and how the decision to find a new football coach was made (14:05). She tells us why she thinks Arkansas is a great job (20:20). Then, we discuss what the Razorbacks were looking for in a new coach and how the 48-hour stretch that saw a new AD and coach introduced began (27:40). Finally, we talk about how Hunter Yurachek and Chad Morris met and getting negotiations done (34:00).
Episode 27: Quinn Grovey
Quinn Grovey is the only starting quarterback to record back-to-back 10-win seasons in Arkansas football history. We sit down with the Razorback great to get his story, including how he left the state of Oklahoma to come to Arkansas (6:00). He has a great story about Andre Ware and Houston (16:11), and talks about how he found out Ken Hatfield was leaving (22:35). Later, we get into how his broadcast career started (30:19), and his relationship with Frank Broyles (33:37). Finally, we discuss how his career might have been different if he was playing in today’s age of college football (41:16).
Episode 26: T.J. Smith
T.J. Smith is a Razorback football team captain, and he’s having an impact on and off the field. We dive into what life was like for him as a kid, and how he learned about serving others at a young age (7:22). He tells the hilarious story of how he started playing football for the first time in high school (13:00), and how that led to college coaches—including in the Ivy League—noticing him as a prospect (17:00). We get a first-hand account of the impact of a coaching change on the student-athletes (20:51), and finally, we get to know T.J. a little more and what he wants his future to look like (28:02).
Episode 25: Dre Greenlaw
Dre Greenlaw has been through more in life than most. We talk about his childhood of growing up in the foster care system and moving all over the state of Arkansas (2:46). Dre tells us how faith played a major role in his life and helped him get through the tough times (7:33), and then we get into how he met now-Houston assistant coach Brian Early and what led to him living with the Earlys (11:19). We get into the tough decision for Dre to come to Arkansas and turn down Coach Early’s offer to play at Arkansas State (17:56), and how his journey is going now (23:50). Finally, we get into what the coaching transition was like for him at Arkansas (25:07), and what he wants people to think when they see him (26:38).
Episode 24: How It Works: Facilities
Have you ever wondered what goes into getting Arkansas’ top-class facilities ready for players, coaches and fans alike? We did. And we sat down with Associate AD for Facilities Justin Maland to get the inside scoop, starting with the new grass surface that was installed at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (2:03). We get into the 20,000-foot view of managing facilities on a college campus and the facilities “arms race” (7:11). We talk about everything that went into the north end zone project (15:44) and the upgrades coming to Baum-Walker Stadium (22:35). Justin talks about working for Norm DeBriyn and the baseball program and getting into facilities management (28:10).
Episode 23: Turner Gill
The Razorback football program recently hired Turner Gill as its new executive director of player and staff development, and so we sat down with the former college head coach to get to know him and his vision for Arkansas. We get into why he decided to retire from coaching (4:28) and what he learned from legendary coach Tom Osborne (11:40). Gill tells us why he decided to start playing pro baseball, and how that led to him getting into coaching and winning three national titles as an assistant (17:40). We talk about what he’s bringing to his new role (27:00) and finally how his experiences as a player and coach help him relate to student-athletes (35:30).
Episode 22: The Dean
Dean Weber has an appropriate name, because he really is the Dean of Arkansas football. We sat down with the longtime athletic trainer, who’s accrued more years of service at the university than anyone other than Frank Broyles and Norm DeBriyn. We get into how he started his career working for legendary coach Dean Smith (3:21), and how he ended up at Arkansas (5:30). Next, it’s story time, as Weber tells us some great stories about Steve Cox and Clint Stoerner (13:32), and talks about his relationship with Darren McFadden (20:00). Then we get his thoughts on the different coaches he worked for — including Lou Holtz, Ken Hatfield, Danny Ford and Houston Nutt (27:35). Featuring appearances by Darren McFadden, Clint Stoerner and Houston Nutt.
Episode 21: Ken Hatfield
Ken Hatfield is a Razorback legend. He grew up in Arkansas, played for the 1964 national championship team and later returned to become the head coach with the highest career winning percentage in program history. We sat down with Hafield to reflect on his career—beginning with whether there is any controversy to Arkansas’ football national championship in 1964 (2:40)? The impact Frank Broyles had on unifying the state behind the football program (4:30) and how different the culture is today (6:55). Next, Hatfield recalls some of his favorite memories from the 1964 season (16:20), including his famous punt return against Texas (22:27). We explore how he got into coaching (26:12), his return to Arkansas (31:04) and his departure for Clemson after two back-to-back Southwest Conference championships (34:57). Finally, we talk to Hatfield about his new role of the College Football Playoff selection committee (41:44).
Episode 20: Chris Bader
Mental health of student-athletes has become one of the most talked-about issues in college athletics. Arkansas has taken a step forward, hiring Dr. Chris Bader as the assistant athletic director for mental health and performance. We sat down with Bader to get his thoughts on what people need to understand about mental health and the impact social media has on it (4:15). We get into working with coaches (8:15), and what the key is to dealing with pressure and failure (16:19). Bader discusses why anxiety issues are more prevalent than ever (26:20) and shares advice on getting mentally healthy (28:00).
Episode 19: Clint Stoerner
When many people think of Clint Stoerner, they think of the fumble against Tennessee. But shouldn’t he be remember for so much more? We sat down with the former Razorback to tell his story—starting with what he’s up to now and why he likes coaching (3:00). We go back to how he grew up (9:36) and how he got into football instead of baseball (15:50). Next, he tells us why he chose Arkansas over LSU (21:18) and what it was like when Houston Nutt got hired (25:25). We get into what he remembers about the 1998 Tennessee game, the fumble that everyone talks about and the immediate aftermath (29:53). He talks about what he had to endure from angry fans (36:43), and what he thinks fans think of when they hear his name (42:48). Finally, we talk to Clint about getting redemption against the Vols in 1999 and his story coming full circle (44:05).
Episode 18: Major League Hogs
Ryne Stanek and Jalen Beeks were once teammates with the Razorbacks. Now, after taking two very different paths, they’re teammates again with the Tampa Bay Rays, and are part of a grand pitching experiment. We dive in to the “opener” role that Stanek has taken on and how he likes it (3:50), and his journey to the big leagues (10:00). We get into what it was like for him to get the call to the majors (13:20) and how he still follows the Razorbacks (16:09). Next, Beeks joins the pod and talks about how his JUCO experience helped pave the way for him to make it to the show (20:47). We chat about how playing at Arkansas helped prepare him for where he is today (27:21) and, finally, get his thoughts on the Hog baseball program today (29:43).
Episode 17: Maria Fassi
If you ask people in the know, Maria Fassi might just be the LPGA’s next superstar. We get her thoughts on those impressions and whether or not it adds pressure (2:36). She takes us through why winning the NCAA title at home was so important to her (9:40), and then rewind to how she got into golf in the first place (18:00). We walk through how she decided to go to college and chose Arkansas (24:00), and playing in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur (28:10). Maria tells us where her confidence comes from (33:00) and we get into why people love her swing (42:19). Finally, we learn how hard work is paying off for Maria and what she hopes the future holds (45:35).
Episode 16: Finebaum
Paul Finebaum is known as a lot of things. He’s the “Mouth of the South,” the face of the SEC Network, and someone who always has something to say. We caught up with Finebaum and chat about how he grew up paying close attention to the Razorbacks (2:22) and meeting Bill Clinton (4:54). We talk about his dad passing away when Finebaum was just a teenager and the effect it had on him (8:17). He takes us through how he got into radio (14:00), and how he landed on the SEC Network (22:45). We go through some controversial moments he’s been a part of (30:23) and what’s next for him (36:00). Finally, we end with some encouraging words he has for Razorback fans (41:20).
Episode 15: Lance Harter
Fresh off winning indoor and outdoor national titles in 2019, Arkansas women’s track coach Lance Harter is riding a massive wave of success. We begin our conversation with his early days as a surfer in California and how he got into track (3:40), as well as his start in coaching track at the D2 level (9:00). Then, we cover how he got to Arkansas, and what it was like being there when John McDonnell had the men’s program rolling (14:00), as well as what the job is like away from the track (20:50). We get into the success he’s having and how he manages it (33:33), and he shares a great story from the 1992 Olympics involving Charles Barkley (39:18).
Episode 14: DVH
We sit down with Razorback baseball coach Dave Van Horn for a wide-ranging interview. DVH takes us through how he’s gotten the program to the point it’s at now and where he thinks it stands in college baseball (6:45). We chat about the number of big leaguers he’s produced and how his players are well prepared for pro baseball (16:20), as well as his leadership style (26:20). DVH tells us what going into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame meant (35:15) and what the fan support and appreciation means to the program (42:56). Finally, we learn how this season has helped him deal with the way the 2018 College World Series ended (48:34).
Episode 13: SEC Meetings
For this episode, The Hog Pod goes on the road to Destin, Fla., for the SEC’s spring meetings. We catch up with Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman, and he updates us on filling out his coaching staff and transfers (3:21), talks about how his NBA background helps with roster management (9:02) and gives us some insight into what he already knows about his team (11:05). Next, we chat with football coach Chad Morris, who explains the addition of Turner Gill to his staff for off-the-field development (18:29), the importance of recruiting Texas (21:24) and where they are in the building process (31:37).
Episode 12: Isaiah Campbell
Isaiah Campbell is Arkansas’ ace, and one of the best pitchers in the SEC. But after an up-and-down career, how did he get to this point? We chat with the Friday night starter about when he realized baseball could be a thing for him (8:15) and understanding the idea of sacrifice (9:15). We talk about dealing with injuries (12:50) and deciding to come back for one more season (25:07). Finally, he takes us through bouncing back from last year’s disappointing runner-up finish and how this year’s team is having success (27:41).
Episode 11: Hunter Yurachek
Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek has been through a whirlwind first 18 months on the job. It’s been so fast paced that we decided to sit down with him to help Razorback fans get to know him better. We discuss his college basketball playing career and taking charges in church leagues (4:50), as well as missing games to watch his sons play and the culture he’s trying to create (9:08). We talk about how he got into college athletics as a career (17:34), and the success levels of Arkansas’ programs (28:00). He tells a story about how he was once thrown out of a game (37:13) and the process behind making Nolan Richardson Court a reality (39:42).
Episode 10: From Bad to Super
Arkansas softball was in a bad place when Courtney Deifel arrived as the head coach prior to the 2016 season. Now, they’re headed back to the postseason for the third straight year. How did Deifel do it? We sit down with Coach Deifel to talk about her journey, beginning with a career in Japan (4:09), going back to school and beginning her coaching career (9:25). She gives insight into why, despite the program’s struggles, she never saw Arkansas as a bad job (15:10) and how she built a competitive roster (18:38). Finally, we learn what kind of coach she is and why she doesn’t get ejected (25:06), and what it’s like balancing being a mom and a coach (31:11).
Episode 9: Hunter Woodhall
Hunter Woodhall doesn’t just run track for Arkansas. He runs track for Arkansas without his legs. We sit down with the silver medal-winning Paralympian and let him tell his inspiring story. We start at the beginning with how Hunter lost his legs at such an early age (2:19) and how he wasn’t allowed to use that as an excuse in life (9:03). Hunter tells us about how he got good at track (14:00), and we get into how he became a YouTube star of sorts (19:26). Hunter discusses what it’s like to wear prosthetic legs (28:12), and what he wants people to think when they see him run (30:32). Finally, we get into the struggles he deals with—whether it’s school-related or about parking on campus (32:00).
Episode 8: Jordyn Wieber
Jordyn Wieber doesn’t need an introduction to most—she’s an Olympic champion, a decorated star, and a bona fide celebrity. Now, at just 23 years old, she’s the new coach of the Arkansas gymnastics program. We chat with Jordyn about her start in gymnastics at a young age (6:45), what her journey to the Olympics was like (11:00), and what life after the Olympics is like for a gymnast (12:30). We get her thoughts on what it was like to not qualify for the 2012 Olympic all-around title and having to bounce back for the team competition (16:37), when she decided she wanted to be a coach (22:34), and becoming a team manager at UCLA (25:35). Finally, we talk to Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek about what he was thinking in hiring a 23-year-old first time head coach (29:30) and more.
Episode 7: The Great Dane
Arkansas’ Hjalte Froholdt has a story unlike any other, and a chance to make history at the NFL Draft. We start with all the trouble people have had with pronouncing his name and growing up in Denmark (2:00), and we cover his journey to America and his start playing football (8:00). Next, we chat with his high school coach from Warren, Ohio, Steve Arnold, who tells us some great stories about Froholdt’s first year in the states (13:00). Froholdt tells us about his early struggles at Arkansas and move to the offensive line (25:09). Finally, we talk about his hopes for the NFL Draft and what it would mean to be the first Danish position player ever drafted (33:34). Stay tuned for some bonus content at the end of the podcast.
Episode 6: Hog Heaven
Arkansas basketball reached the pinnacle of the sport on April 4, 1994. We dive into what that night was like, what’s happened since, and the future of the program under new head coach Eric Musselman. We get a feel for the game and that night from former Razorbacks Clint McDaniel (4:26) and Dwight Stewart (8:30), and Hawgs Illustrated publisher Clay Henry (11:09). Clay answers the question of whether or not Arkansas can get back to the level it was at in the 1990s (18:25), and tells a great Andre Iguodala story (25:17). Finally we get ESPN’s Jimmy Dykes thoughts on the toughness of the SEC (33:11) and what Musselman can do with the Razorbacks (35:40).
Episode 5: Eric Musselman
We sit down for an exclusive conversation with new Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman. We start at the beginning, with the story of how he became a head coach for the first time (5:00), how he used salt shakers to land an NBA job with Chuck Daly (11:25), and why he decided to get into the college game (17:00). Then he tells the story of how the Oakland Raiders gave him an office to study film (33:30), before we bring in former Razorback Corey Beck—who played against Musselman’s teams in the CBA—for his thoughts on the new coach (44:30). Finally, the new Razorback coach tells us what fans can expect from his teams at Arkansas (1:00:30).
Episode 4: Quarterback or Bust
What’s it take to play quarterback in a Chad Morris offense, and what makes that offense successful? We sit down with the Arkansas head coach, his offensive coordinator Joe Craddock, and transfer quarterback Ben Hicks to get some insight. We start with what happened last year on offense at Arkansas (2:27) and how Morris got interested in offense (8:40). Then, we hear the story of how Craddock ended up working with Morris at Clemson and SMU (14:45). Morris tells us why it all starts and ends with quarterback for him (23:00), and then we chat with Hicks to get the QB’s perspective (27:05).
Episode 3: Three Men, Two Eras, One Goal
This is the story of three Final Four-caliber coaches—Gary Blair, Vic Schaefer and Mike Neighbors—all on one staff at Arkansas. It’s the story of how things fell apart for Razorback women’s basketball, and how Neighbors—who once was responsible for getting Diet Cokes for Blair—is working to bring it back. We begin where it all started, with Blair and why he decided to leave Arkansas (3:00) and why he thinks Neighbors will be successful (8:37). Then, we visit with Schaefer about not wanting to leave (19:20) and why Neighbors is ahead of schedule (20:40). Finally, we go full circle with Neighbors himself about what it was like working for Blair (26:30), what he learned from him (30:00) and how he’s working to restore the program to its former heights (35:10).
Episode 2: Norm DeBriyn
It’s the story of how Arkansas baseball went from playing at the fairgrounds to becoming one of the top programs in the country. We visit with legendary Razorback baseball coach Norm DeBriyn, and talk about how he ended up in Arkansas (4:20), how he eventually got the head coaching job (8:30), teaching Driver’s Ed (11:40) and how he helped get Baum-Walker Stadium built (29:30). We’ll also chat with him and current head coach Dave Van Horn about when Norm decided the time was right to pass the baton to his former player (39:00) and coming so close to winning a national championship (50:30).
Episode 1: Nolan Richardson
In our debut episode, we head to Nolan Richardson’s ranch for a great conversation with the Hall of Fame coach. We talk about his early coaching days and style (7:13), and how his daughter convinced him to take the Arkansas job (24:00). Then we spend time talking about the 1994 championship (30:40), how he celebrated and calling President Clinton “Prez” (39:00). Finally, we get his thoughts on the court at Bud Walton Arena being named in his honor (51:10), and he tells a funny story of how Rick Pitino tried to get him out of the SEC.