TD Club reveals speakers for 2017
Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema and athletic director Jeff Long will be joined by former college football coaches Frank Beamer, Bob Stoops, Gary Pinkel and Tommy Tuberville as speakers this year for the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club.
College football guru Phil Steele was the luncheon guest Wednesday at the club’s speaker reveal. Steele publishes one of the nation’s top college football preview magazines. He was asked about Arkansas’ chances this season and said the Hogs might surprise.
Steele was clear that last year’s Arkansas team didn’t live up to his expectations.
“I get why they weren’t as good,” he said. “They had injuries with Deatrich Wise, Kevin Richardson and Dre Greenlaw.”
Steele loves the addition of Paul Rhoads as defensive coordinator and the switch to the 3-4 scheme.
“First, I like what they’ve done on the defensive line,” he said. “They’ve gone from 275-pound guys to 300 and 330 across the front. That will help them become much tougher against the run. Paul Rhoads did a great job at Iowa State. He’ll have a solid impact with the Arkansas defense this season.”
The speaker list and schedule for the NWA Touchdown Club is as follows:
■ Aug. 23 — Bret Bielema, Arkansas head coach
■ Aug. 30 — Frank Beamer, former Virginia Tech coach
■ Sept. 6 — Jeff Long, Arkansas athletic director
■ Sept. 20 — Matt Stinchcomb, SEC Network
■ Sept. 27 — Chris “The Bear” Fallica, ESPN College Game Day
■ Oct. 3 — Laura Rutledge, SEC Network, ESPN
■ Oct. 11 — Bob Stoops, former Oklahoma coach ■
Oct. 18 — Gary Pinkel, former Missouri coach
■ Oct. 25 — Tommy Tuberville, ESPN, former coach
■ Nov. 8 — Ken Hamlin, former Razorback safety