Source: Chad Morris to be named coach at SMU

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, a 16-year Texas high school coach who won back-to-back state titles at Lake Travis in 2008 and 2009, has agreed in principle to become the new head coach at SMU, a high-level SMU source told HornsDigest.com.

Chad Morris has agreed to a multi-year deal that will pay him roughly $3 million per year, the source said Thursday night.

An announcement of the hire is expected next week. That announcement will also include new academic support for athletics at SMU, the source told HornsDigest.com on Friday.

Clemson will allow Morris to begin recruiting for SMU starting next week, the source said.

Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman was also a finalist for the SMU job, the source said.

Morris, 45, had the SMU offer for at least two weeks, the source said. Morris wanted to wait and see if Clemson coach Dabo Swinney got the Florida job, because Morris likely would have been a candidate to replace Swinney as Clemson's coach if that had happened, the source said.

After Florida's flirtation with Swinney, Clemson has apparently offered Swinney some sweeteners to an 8-year contract signed in January, the source said.

SMU wanted an offensive-minded coach with strong recruiting ties in the state of Texas to replace June Jones, who stepped down before the end of the 2014 season.

Morris, a Texas A&M alum, was a high school coach in Texas at Eustace, Elysian Fields, Bay City, Stephenville and Lake Travis. Morris won 82 percent of his games as a high school coach in Texas, coached in six state title games, winning three, including back-to-back state championships at Lake Travis in 2008 and 2009.

In 16 years as a head coach in high school, he had a 169-38 record (.816).

In 2010, Morris was the offensive coordinator and associate head coach at Tulsa, helping the offense average 41.4 points per game (No. 8 in the nation) as Tulsa improved from 5-7 in 2009 to 10-3 in 2010.

In 2011, Morris signed a six-year contract worth $1.3 million annually to be the offensive coordinator at Clemson, becoming the highest-paid assistant in college football. He interviewed for the Texas Tech head coaching vacancy that went to Kliff Kingsbury.



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