Since Daryl Patton resigned last month, the main question that has been on the minds of high school football fans in Arkansas is who will be the Purple Dogs new head coach. Many people knew that a large number of applicants would be interested in the Fayetteville coaching job and that would prove to be the case. Fayetteville Superintendent Paul Hewitt and Athletic Director Steve Janski put into place a search committee shortly afterward Patton stepped down. The list of names that showed interest and applied for the job was an impressive one to say the least. Names such as Danny Abshier, Bobby Bolding, and Ron Calcagni were all listed as candidates for the job.
After going through the selection process the search committee decided upon Bill Blankenship as the new head man for the Fayetteville Purple Dogs. Blankenship has the experience in the high school ranks to come in and make an immediate impact in the 7-A West. Blankenship coached at Tulsa Union High School for 14 years. Blankenship, in his tenure at Union was able to go 154-26 and win three state championships.
Blankenship brings college coaching experience as well to Fayetteville. Blankenship was the head coach of the University of Tulsa in 2010 after moving there from Tulsa Union. Blankenship was able to lead the Golden Hurricanes to two straight bowl games in 2011 and 2012. However, the next two seasons did not go as expected and he was only able to win five games at Tulsa over a two year period. Last season, Blankenship served as an offensive analyst for Justin Fuente at Memphis.
Blankenship has hinted recently that he is ready to become the head man on the sidelines again, and the Fayetteville job gives him a chance to coach once again. The pressure will be on to continue to win at Fayetteville. An impressive roster returns for the Purple Dogs in 2016 and gives Blankenship a chance to contend for a state championship early in his tenure. Things are always intense in the 7-A Conference and that intensity should be raised with Blankenship returning to the coaching ranks.