Arkansas hires SMU coach Chad Morris, agreeing to six-year, $21M contract

Arkansas hires SMU coach Chad Morris, agreeing to six-year, $21M contract

Arkansas hires SMU coach Chad Morris, agreeing to six-year, $21M contract

It's official. Chad Morris was named the 33rd head football coach in University of Arkansas history Wednesday.

The former Clemson offensive coordinator (2011-2014) has a 14-22 record at SMU in a complete rebuilding situation. The following season, the 49-year-old Morris took over an SMU program that had fallen apart. Offensively, Morris has galloped the Mustangs from 128th of 128 the year before he arrived to this season ranking eighth nationally averaging 40.1 points per game.

Coach Morris spent four seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Clemson before taking his first head coaching job at SMU. Morris' name has been associated with the opening since before former head coach Bret Bielema was hired, the day after Bielema was sacked and throughout the search.

He replaces Bret Bielema, who was sacked after compiling a 29-34 record in five seasons - including 11-29 in the Southeastern Conference.

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"The future is tremendously bright at the University of Arkansas with the addition of Chad Morris", Razorbacks athletic director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement.

The Mustangs are guaranteed a winning record for the first time since 2012 and for the fifth time since the program rebooted in 1989. Now that SMU program is going to a bowl game and I think they're in the top 10 in the country in scoring offense.

Morris emerged as Arkansas' pick to replace Bret Bielema after Auburn's Gus Malzahn turned down the Hogs last weekend. Instead, he signed a lucrative extension to remain with the Tigers.

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