Former Texas A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis was named the new defensive coordinator the Arkansas Razorbacks this morning, a move that has been the source of speculation in Hogland for weeks. Chavis’s units with the Aggies have ranked eighth, tenth, and ninth in the SEC in total defense over the last three years.

“I’m excited to have Coach Chavis as our defensive coordinator, which was a very important hire for our program,” said new head coach Chad Morris in a statement in the Razorbacks’ announcement. “It’s so important to play great defense in the SEC and Coach Chavis brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and success in the league to the table.”


In the same announcement, here’s the boilerplate from Chavis:

I’m excited for the opportunity to help Coach Morris build the Arkansas program and join the great staff that he is putting together. It’s a great time to be at the University of Arkansas and I can’t wait to get started on building a defense that our fans can be excited about.

Chavis won the Broyles Award in 2011 as the top assistant coach in college football. He is a longtime SEC veteran: He was the defensive coordinator for 23 years, followed by a six-year stint as defensive coordinator at LSU. He spent the last three years as defensive coordinator at Texas A&M, but was not retained after head coach Kevin Sumlin was fired and replaced by former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher.


Chavis is nicknamed “The Chief,” which is a blasphemous affront to the great Robert Parish but whatever.

The Razorbacks also announced that Morris is bringing along a few assistants from his former perch at SMU.


Joe Craddock has been hired as the program’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the same role he filled under Morris at SMU:

“Joe is one of the bright, young minds in all of college football,” Morris said. “He worked underneath us at Clemson and was very instrumental in our success there. I took him with me to SMU and saw him grow both as a person and as a coordinator during the last three years. He has a great mind and feel for the game, and I’m excited to have him on our staff and what we bring to the table in our high-powered offense.”

The Razorbacks also announced that Trumain Carroll has been hired as the new head strength and conditioning coach, the same role he filled under Morris at SMU.

More on Chavis from the Razorbacks announcement:

Five Coach Chavis Notes To Know
1. Has a career record of 214-80 (72.8 percent) over his 23 seasons as a defensive coordinator, including a 129-60 mark (68.3 percent) in SEC games.

2. Chavis-led defenses have posted 14 shutouts during his career.

3. He has coached 81 players that have been selected in the NFL Draft over his 37 years as a coach, including 15 first round picks.

4. Chavis-led defenses have held 52 opponents to single-digit points.

5. He has developed 44 players into All-SEC first team selections since 1995.