Sunday, 17 December, 2017

SMU's Chad Morris emerges as top target at Arkansas

Mike Leach reportedly emerging as candidate for another head coaching job and it’s not Tennessee Thearon W. Henderson Getty Images
Dexter Carr | 07 December, 2017, 01:49

We're learning the Arkansas Razorbacks will hire Chad Morris as the next head football coach. A deal could be worked out as soon as Wednesday.

Morris successfully rebuilt SMU in his three seasons with the program. Morris' Mustangs went 7-5 this season in what was a fantastic turnaround effort by the coach - his crew went just 2-10 in his inaugural campaign back in 2015. But Hatfield, a former Arkansas player, proceeded to put together one of the Razorbacks' best multi-year runs with a 55-17-1 record in six seasons, the final two of which resulted in Southwest Conference championships in 1988 and 1989. Prior to his tenure at SMU, he was offensive coordinator at both Clemson and Tulsa and was a long-time successful high school coach in Texas.

Bielema was sacked after the Razorbacks went 4-8 this season. SMU ranks 13th nationally this season in total offense (493.8 yards per game) and eighth in scoring offense (40.2 points per game).

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The 49-year-old Morris will formally be introduced on Thursday.

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.

I've been told Chad Morris has informed SMU he has accepted the job with Arkansas. Before getting to the collegiate level, Morris compiled a 169-38 career record as a high school coach in the state of Texas. Hunter Yurachek was hired from Houston on Monday. Bielema had been the head coach for the Badgers since 2006. SMU improved to 5-7 past year, including a 38-16 win over No. 11 Houston.

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