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John L. Smith Out As Arkansas Coach, AD Jeff Long Says

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Arkansas interim head coach John L. Smith shouts toward officials in the second quarter of their NCAA college football game against Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.
Arkansas interim head coach John L. Smith shouts toward officials in the second quarter of their NCAA college football game against Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long says interim football coach John L. Smith will not return next season.

Long says in a statement released by the university that he met with Smith on Saturday, a day after the Razorbacks' season-ending 20-13 loss to LSU, and told him the school "would be making a change in leadership within our program."

Smith was hired in April to replace the fired Bobby Petrino and signed to a 10-month contract. Long says that once a new coach is hired Smith will be reassigned as a consultant through the end of his contract on Feb. 23, 2013.

Arkansas (4-8, 2-6 Southeastern Conference) began the season ranked in the top 10 but quickly fell out of the polls after a stunning loss to Louisianan-Monroe on Sept. 8.

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