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

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

A person with direct knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that Arkansas has hired SMU's Chad Morris to become the school's new football coach.

Morris, 49, spent the past three seasons as the head coach at SMU in Dallas and gained notoriety for his Texas only recruiting philosophy. Long was the man who hired Bielema away from Wisconsin following the 2012 regular season in what was considered a major coup for the Razorbacks at the time.

Morris served three years as offensive coordinator at Clemson, where he emerged as one of the brightest offensive minds in the nation.




Although Arkansas was known first to approach Auburn Coach and Fort Smith native and former Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn (an approach helping enrich Malzhan with an Auburn raise and contract extension), Morris was prominently mentioned as a candidate of Arkansas interest since Bielema was dismissed. The Mustangs rank 122nd nationally in total defense (486.7 yards per game) and 113th in scoring defense (35.1 points per game) this year and never have ranked in the top 100 of either category under Morris.

Chad Morris has left SMU for Arkansas.

The Razorbacks are looking for a replacement for Bret Bielema, who was sacked last month. Their record was 2-10 his first year, 5-7 in 2016, and went 7-5 this past year. SMU improved to 5-7 past year, including a 38-16 win over No. 11 Houston.

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