Hogs to name Morris next head coach

Hogs to name Morris next head coach

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FAYETTEVILLE - University of Arkansas sources confirm the Arkansas Razorbacks are about to hire SMU coach Chad Morris, 49, as the UA’s head football coach.

Arkansas fired five-year coach Bret Bielema on Nov. 24 after the Razorbacks concluded a 4-8 overall/1-7 SEC season.

The UA hired athletic director Hunter Yurachek of the University of Houston on Monday to replace Jeff Long, the fired UA athletic director who served in that role from 2008 until Nov. 15.

Morris has coached SMU for three seasons. Though his SMU record is only 14-22, Morris inherited the Mustangs off a 1–11 season and incrementally improved them to 2-10 then to 5-7 and this season to 7-5 with the Hawaii Bowl still to play on Christmas Eve against Fresno State.

Morris oversees an explosive SMU offense that averages 40.2 points and 493.8 yards per game.

Morris owns extensive recruiting and coaching experience in Texas, having coached high school ball for 16 years at four Texas high schools before joining the collegiate ranks as Tulsa’s offensive coordinator in 2010 followed by coordinating Clemson’s offense from 2011-2014.

Morris said in a Clemson promotion video, "that in the end it's got be fun (for players). You (coaches) got to demonstrate it. You got to model it, and you got to demand it."

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, also contacted by Arkansas as a head coaching possibility, worked three years with Morris on the same Clemson staff under Dabo Swinney.

The UA is set to formally introduce Yurachek Wednesday morning to Arkansas media at a press conference accompanied by UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz.

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