Contract stumbling point for Chavis-Arkansas deal?

Rumors continue to swirl that Texas A&M coach John Chavis is the top choice to join Arkansas as defensive coordinator.

According to people we’ve talked to, his contract with the Aggies is the reason it hasn’t been done yet.

New A&M coach Jimbo Fisher hasn’t hired a single defensive assistant. Sound familiar?

Reportedly, Chavis’ contract is fully guaranteed if he’s fired. The twist comes in that some think it’s not offset by him taking another job. Others have said if he leaves for another school in the SEC he owes A&M about $1.7 million.

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Regardless, he is likely to be coaching the Aggies’ defense in the Belk Bowl against Wake Forest on Dec. 29.

Everyone still feels, however, Chavis will be the Hogs’ next defensive coordinator.

He’s a coordinator that has changed over the years.

In the 1990’s and mid-2000’s, Chavis’ reputation was that his Tennessee defenses were good in the first half, but a lack of adjustments in the second half created problems.

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That changed to where he is now considered one of the best at in-game adjustments. That’s not my opinion, but what others tell me. I’m not convinced that is the case, but that’s what people considered experts say.

Chavis has always valued speed, speed, speed in his defenses, however. He has produced some big-time NFL players, both at LSU and Texas A&M after leaving Tennessee in the fallout around Phil Fulmer’s dismissal.

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His defenses are very aggressive and very active.

Whether all that will translate to success with the Razorbacks isn’t known.

It won’t be until the contract issue is resolved.


  1. Most talented coaches in either offense or defense can fail miserably and learn from their mistakes with the list including Brent Venerables Kevin Steele (a 70-33 loss in a bowl game) Alex Grinch (defensive breakdowns at key times to keep Washington State from contending for the Pacific Coast title) and Matt Canada who also had initial notable failures. The question will be whether or not a coach can learn from past mistakes. I believe that John Chavis will benefit from coaching under a progressive coach like Chad Norris much like former coaches did under Nick Saban, and Dabo Swinney who challenged their coaches as much as their players to perform.


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