- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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Willy Robinson will not return next season as Arkansas' defensive coordinator, the school said Tuesday.
"I want to thank Willy Robinson for his role in helping our defense, which he leaves in better shape than when he arrived," coach Bobby Petrino said in a prepared statement. "I have the utmost respect for Willy Robinson as an individual who wants the best for the young men he coaches. I give Willy credit for his part in the building process the last four years and wish him future success."
Robinson had coached the Razorbacks' defense all four seasons under Bobby Petrino and also coached the secondary. The Hogs finished 10-2 this season, but gave up a total of 79 points in their two losses to LSU and Alabama.
Arkansas made major strides on defense in Robinson's third season, finishing fifth in the SEC in total defense a year ago. But the Razorbacks, hurt by key injuries to defensive ends Jake Bequette and Tenarius Wright, lost some of that improvement this season and gave up 28 points or more in six of their 12 games.
Arkansas finished 51st nationally in total defense, but were ranked ninth in the SEC in both scoring and total defense.
Robinson's ouster is one of several changes on Arkansas' staff. Offensive coordinator Garrick McGee has left to become coach at UAB, while special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach John L. Smith has taken the top job at Weber State, an FCS program.
Arkansas announced Tuesday that Petrino's younger brother, Paul Petrino, was returning to the staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach after spending the last two years as the offensive coordinator at Illinois.
Chris Low writes about SEC football for ESPN.com.
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