FAYETTEVILLE - The Arkansas Razorbacks are expected to hire SMU coach Chad Morris, 49, as the UA’s head football coach, University of Arkansas sources confirmed Tuesday.
Morris has coached SMU for three seasons. Though his SMU record is only 14-22, Morris inherited 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 ad 493.8 yards per game.
He has 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.
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. Some media sources speculate that Morris might try to lure Venables to Arkansas as defensive coordintor.
Memphis coach Mike Norvell, a UCA graduate, is known to have been under heavy Arkansas consideration. However, Norvell Tuesday signed a $13 million extension to his contract at Memphis through 2022.
Meanwhile Yurachek is set to be formally introduced this morning to Arkansas media a at a press conference accompanied by UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz.
Arkansas fired five-year coach Bret Bielema on Nov. 24 after the Razorbacks concluded a 4-8 overall/1-7 SEC season and only on Monday hired athletic director Hunter Yurachek of the University of Houston to replace Jeff Long, the Razorbacks’ athletic director since 2008 but fired on Nov. 15.