Arkansas hires SMU's Morris as head coach

Saul Bowman
December 7, 2017

Chad Morris has agreed to be Arkansas' head football coach, the school announced Wednesday.

Morris, 49, spent the past three seasons as the head coach at SMU in Dallas and gained notoriety for his Texas only recruiting philosophy.

After a flurry of hires were made on Tuesday, news surfaced in the evening that Chad Morris will be leaving the SMU Mustangs to take over in Fayetteville.

The former Clemson offensive coordinator (2011-2014) has a 14-22 record at SMU in a complete rebuilding situation.

Under Morris, SMU grew into one of the most prolific offenses in the country.

He is also getting consideration for the Tennessee head coaching vacancy.

It has been a relatively long search over the past 12 days with the pursuit of Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn before the search turned firmly on Morris. The Mustangs rank 122nd nationally in total defense (486.7 yards per game) and 113th in scoring defense (35.1 points per game) this year and never have ranked in the top 100 of either category under Morris. Bielema was sacked November 24 after a 4-8 season in which the Razorbacks went 1-7 in conference play.

SMU went 1-11 the year before Morris was hired. The Mustangs upset No. 11 Houston in the 2016 season, and clinched bowl eligibility this year with a thrilling, 38-34 win over Tulsa.

Arkansas went 4-8 in 2017 before firing head coach Bret Bielema.

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