Arkansas officially announced the hiring of Chad Morris as its next head football coach on Wednesday afternoon.
By now, Arkansas fans probably know a little about the former SMU head coach, who “grew up” in the high school game before coming an offensive coordinator at Clemson.
It’s with the Tigers where he developed the reputation as one of the nation’s top play callers. And though he hasn’t been there since 2014, the Tigers still have fond memories of their time with Morris.
“I am incredibly happy for Chad Morris and his wife Paula,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said via a release from Arkansas. “It has been fun to see someone who coaches here blossom in his career. He did a phenomenal job in his four years at Clemson and it has been exciting to see what he has done at SMU. I believe he will be a great fit at Arkansas and I am excited to see what he will do with that program.”
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who was also considered a candidate for the Arkansas job, offered his congratulations to his former co-worker as well. The two served together as coordinators under Swinney from 2012-14.
“Chad Morris is an outside-the-box thinker and an incredible football coach,” Venables told Arkansas.
Former Clemson quarterback and Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson was recruited to the Tigers by Morris. He also gave his thoughts to Arkansas upon word of the Razorbacks hire.
“He was the first one to offer me,” Watson said via Arkansas release. “The relationship was bigger than football and getting me on campus. Chad Morris has had a huge impact on my life.”
Those three endorsements should carry a good deal of weight with Arkansas fans in the early going. The Razorbacks faithful soon will be able to form their own opinion of the man who was tabbed to replace Bret Bielema, as he is scheduled to be introduced by the administration on Thursday at 10 a.m. in Fayetteville.