FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - Firing Chad Morris was just the first domino; Hunter Yurachek has a lot of decisions to make in the coming weeks. His first choice was to name Barry Lunney Jr interim coach, and Lunney appears more than ready for the challenge. In fact, the whole situation isn’t exactly new for him.
"27 years ago as a football player here I was thrust into a similar situation."
Lunney was a young QB for the Hogs in 1992, when Jack Crowe was fired after a loss to The Citadel, and Joe Kines took over as the interim.
"I learned first hand what it looks like for a guy to come in as an interim coach and right the ship breath life into our football players."
It's all a part of the reason Yurachek thought Lunney would be up to the task.
"The kids are really excited about Coach Lunney. He’s a Razorback, he’s walked in their footsteps. He understands what they’re going through having an interim coach. He’s got them believing we can have some special things happen over the last couple weeks of this season."
The biggest changes that Lunney needs to make aren’t X’s and O’s.
"We gotta play with more heart. It doesn’t matter what scheme we have. We could install the triple option in the bye week, and if our guys don’t believe in each other and believe that we’re gonna win, it doesn’t matter what we’re gonna do in that regard."
And potentially staying on as the full time coach is low on Lunney’s priorities, for now.
"That’s a dream of mine, but my focus right now is getting our coaches and our players to play their best football game that we’ve played all year long when we go to Baton Rouge, whatever that looks like."
All Arkansas wants is to look competitive against LSU, but as Lunney knows first hand, the Hogs can pull off some surprises with an interim coach. After all, that 1992 team famously went in to Knoxville and knocked off an undefeated, top ten Tennessee team with Lunney at quarterback.
Whether or not Arkansas can pull off a miracle, if Barry Lunney Jr. can get this Hog team to finish the season with heart, then his name might just move up Hunter Yurachek’s list.