Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton (5) shows his damaged helmet to coach John L. Smith, left, during the first quarter of a football game against Minnesota on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006, in East Lansing, Mich. Stanton left the game a short time later because of dizziness. Minnesota won 31-18. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Weber State hired John L. Smith as its football coach after last season and was looking forward to seeing what he could do with his alma mater.
The Wildcats won't get the chance: Smith is returning to Arkansas to lead the Razorbacks as the head coach for at least next season. Arkansas announced the move Monday, saying Smith had agreed to a 10-month contract worth $850,000. He replaces Bobby Petrino, who was fired earlier this month for failing to disclose his affair with a woman he later hired as his assistant.
The 63-year-old Smith is a 1972 graduate of Weber State who spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Arkansas.
Weber State athletic director Jerry Bovee says the "timing of this announcement is problematic" but the school would move forward. Bovee did not immediately name an interim coach.