AP Source: Arkansas Fires Chad Morris After Going 4-18

Associated Press
November 10, 2019 - 12:13 pm

Arkansas coach Chad Morris talks with an official while playing Western Kentucky during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

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Arkansas has fired football coach Chad Morris after 22 games and no Southeastern Conference victories, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because the school had not yet made an official announcement.

Morris finished 4-18 and 0-14 in the SEC. Arkansas made the move less than 24 hours after the Razorbacks lost 45-19 to a Western Kentucky. Morris' only victories came again Eastern Illinois, Portland State — two FCS teams — Tulsa and Colorado State.

He is the second Power Five coach to be fired after last than two seasons on the job in eight days. Florida State fired Willie Taggart after 21 games last Sunday.

A year after a $160 million stadium renovation and expansion, Arkansas had its two lowest-attended games since a previous expansion in 2001.

Morris was hired from SMU in December 2017 after Arkansas fired Bret Bielema. SMU went 14-22 in Morris' three seasons in Dallas, though the Mustangs improved each year, capping at 7-5 in 2017. Before that Morris was offensive coordinator at Clemson.

Morris, a Texas native, was a successful high school coach for years before becoming offensive coordinator at Tulsa. After one year, he was hired away by Clemson, where he coached and recruited Deshaun Watson.

Morris was Arkansas' choice after former Razorbacks offensive coordinator and current Auburn coach Gus Malzahn declined it. Morris was hired on Dec. 6, 2017, just weeks after Arkansas hired athletic director Hunter Yurachek.

Arkansas owes Morris just over $10 million in buying out his contract. The university is still paying Bielema as part of an $11.8 million buyout. Earlier this month, the Razorback Foundation, a private organization which handles payments for the buyout, asked Bielema to repay the $4.2 million paid him so far, believing Bielema's job as defensive line coach for the New England Patriots negated the terms of the deal.

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AP freelance writer Eric W. Bolin in Fayetteville, Arkansas, contributed.

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