UA sources: Morris tapped as new coach

FAYETTEVILLE -- SMU coach Chad Morris, 49, is to be the new head football coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks it was confirmed Tuesday by University of Arkansas sources.

Arkansas fired five-year coach Bret Bielema on Nov. 24 after the Razorbacks concluded a 4-8 overall/1-7 SEC season and hired athletic director Hunter Yurachek of the University of Houston Monday to replace Jeff Long, the Razorbacks' athletic director since 2008 who was fired on 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 Mustangs offense averaging 40.2 points and 493.8 yards per game.

Morris has extensive recruiting and coaching experience in Texas, having coached high school football 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.

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.

Memphis coach Mike Norvell also is known to have been under heavy Arkansas consideration.

Meanwhile Yurachek is set to be formally introduced this morning to Arkansas media a at a press conference accompanied by UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz.

Sports on 12/06/2017

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