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Jimmy Dykes Hired as Arkansas' Women's Basketball Coach

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The now-former ESPN broadcaster will be the next head coach for the women's basketball team.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Please join me in welcoming our new Head Women&#39;s Basketball Coach <a href="https://twitter.com/JimmyDykesLive">@JimmyDykesLive</a> tonight at 6:30 Bud Walton Arena! <a href="http://t.co/Yf3LyyomDI">pic.twitter.com/Yf3LyyomDI</a></p>&mdash; Jeff Long (@jefflongUA) <a href="https://twitter.com/jefflongUA/statuses/450288553704976384">March 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>WOO PIG SOOIE. GO HOGS</p>&mdash; Jimmy Dykes (@JimmyDykesLive) <a href="https://twitter.com/JimmyDykesLive/statuses/450292433700397056">March 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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We all know Jeff Long likes to do something unexpected every once in a while, and his hire to replace Tom Collen certainly falls in that category. While many were assuming he'd go after a coach with a more traditional coaching background, Long instead reached into the broadcast booth and pulled out our local ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes.

Dykes does have deep connections to Arkansas as an alumni of both Fayetteville High as well as UA. He still resides in Northwest Arkansas and has called several Razorback basketball games for ESPN in recent years.

According to Dykes' ESPN bio, he has been with the network since 1995, but before that was an assistant coach at Arkansas, Sacramento State University, Appalachian State University, University of Kentucky, University of Arkansas-Little Rock and Oklahoma State, and was also a scout for the tragically defunct Seattle SuperSonics.

Victories, attendance, and overall relevance for Arkansas women's basketball have declined sharply in recent years. The Razorbacks are counting on Dykes to change that quickly, and the reaction of hiring the ESPN personality has certainly generated more immediate attention for the program than its received in quite a while. Dykes is known as a charismatic figure, who is also a motivational speaker during the college basketball offseason, and was even listed among "America's Top 50 Bachelors" by People Magazine back in 2001, although he is now married.

The other question now is, who's going to be the analyst for all the Arkansas games on TV?