Arkansas head football coach Sam Pittman tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, according to a statement released Monday morning by Associate Athletics Director Kyle Parkinson.
“Coach Pittman was tested Sunday as part of the team’s normal protocol and he was informed this morning that his PCR test was positive,” Parkinson said in the email. “He is not symptomatic and is in self isolation at home.”
Pittman’s positive test comes on the heels of a 24-13 defeat of the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday night. Per Southeastern Conference policy, all sideline personnel are required to wear a mask on the field, but not in the locker room.
“I’m disappointed, you get into coaching to coach, and I’m disappointed that I’m not going to have that opportunity to do that, assuming the test wasn’t incorrect,” Pittman said in a Zoom press conference on Monday.
The first-year head coach has retested to confirm the positive result, but has not received a verdict yet, according to the statement.
Associate head coach and defensive coordinator Barry Odom will serve as interim head coach while Pittman is in quarantine.
“If I'm not able to go to Florida on Saturday, [Odom will] act as the head coach and he'll do a damn fine job, I'm sure,” Pittman said.
The Razorbacks are scheduled to take on the Florida Gators Saturday night in Gainesville, but as Parkinson mentioned at the end of the press conference, the week is “hour-to-hour.”
If the game proceeds as scheduled, it will begin at 6 p.m. and be televised on ESPN.