Arkansas will name coach next week

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long is expected make a decision on the school’s next football coach within a week, possibly as early as Monday, the Sporting News reported.

The Razorbacks are set to play their annual spring game in Fayetteville on Saturday under interim coach Taver Johnson, who was promoted after the firing of Bobby Petrino last week.

Long may decide to put off the search for a permanent successor until after next season. If he goes that route, it is widely believed that Johnson or running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Horton will be the interim coach for 2012.

Names from outside the program have also surfaced in recent reports, including UAB coach Garrick McGee, who was hired in December after serving as offensive coordinator under Petrino.

New Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn has dismissed rumors that he could return to Fayetteville, where he worked as offensive coordinator in 2006.

Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, who last coached in 2008, has been mentioned for the opening and has spoken to Arkansas officials, according to the Sporting News.

Petrino was dismissed with cause after admitting to an "improper relationship" with a 25-year-old woman who he had hired as an employee of the football program.

Long cited Petrino’s "misleading and manipulating behavior," including attempting to hide the fact that Jessica Dorrell was with him when he crashed his motorcycle April 1.