UA tabs Jennings to coach secondary

Posted: February 20, 2014 at 4:07 p.m.

Clay Jennings was hired as Arkansas' defensive backs coach after spending six seasons at TCU.

— Arkansas has hired Clay Jennings as its defensive backs coach.

Jennings has spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at TCU. He replaces Taver Johnson, who left Arkansas last week to coach the secondary at Purdue.

"I'm thrilled to add Clay Jennings to our staff as his experience blends well with our defensive coaches' philosophy and terminology," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said in a release announcing the hire. "He was an instrumental part of a defensive unit at TCU known for giving an opposing offense a variety of looks while keeping schemes simple for their own players. In addition, his knowledge of the recruiting landscape in Texas will be a great benefit to our program."

Jennings, 40, has 11 years experience as an assistant coach on the FBS level. Prior to TCU he had assistant stints at Baylor, Houston and Louisiana-Lafayette.

While at TCU, Jennings coached with Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon, who was promoted earlier this month to the Razorbacks' senior associate head coach.

Jennings is the third defensive assistant coach Bielema has hired this off-season alongside defensive line coach Rory Segrest and defensive coordinator Robb Smith. In addition to Johnson, former coordinator Chris Ash left Arkansas last month for a co-coordinator position at Ohio State and former defensive line coach Charlie Partridge was hired as head coach at Florida Atlantic in December.