SMU hires Clemson OC Morris as head coach

Dec 1, 2014 - 11:22 PM Dallas, TX ( - Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris was named the new head coach at SMU on Monday, taking over a program that has yet to win a game in 2014.

Morris, who has helped Clemson to 41 wins and a pair of Orange Bowl appearances during his four-year stint with the Tigers, will attempt to turn around a Mustangs' team that enters Saturday's finale at Connecticut with an 0-11 record.

SMU did go to bowl games in four of the five previous seasons under June Jones, who abruptly resigned two games into the 2014 campaign due to personal issues.

Morris, a Texas native, was reportedly one of the highest-paid assistants in the country. His 2012 Clemson offense established school records for total offense (512.7 yards per game) and scoring (41.0 ppg), and the Tigers averaged 507.7 yards and 40.2 points per game the following season.

"I only left that great situation because I knew what we could accomplish at SMU," said Morris during his introductory press conference. "I grew up watching SMU football. I know the history and I know we can be great again. I look forward to working with our student-athletes and staff, as well as my friends and former colleagues, the Texas high school coaches, as we work towards winning championships here on the Hilltop. I can't wait to get started."

Prior to being hired at Clemson in 2011, Morris served one year as the offensive coordinator at Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane averaged 41.4 points per game that season and finished 10-3 after going 5-7 the previous year.

"We looked for the following characteristics and we went after the best," SMU athletic director Rick Hart remarked. "We wanted someone with great character. We wanted a leader, someone with family values, a teacher, an innovator, someone with a grand vision. We wanted someone who would embrace SMU, the city of Dallas and the state of Texas. We wanted someone respected by his peers. In short, we wanted a winner."

Morris also has an extensive history as a high school coach in Texas, having spent 16 seasons as a head coach at five different schools. The 45-year-old amassed a 169-38 record in the prep ranks, including a 32-0 mark over two seasons at Lake Travis High School from 2008-09.

Defensive coordinator Tom Mason had been serving as the Mustangs' head coach after Jones' resignation in September.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!