Chad Morris has been fired as head coach of Arkansas football. Here is a list of coaches who could possibly replace him in Fayetteville.
When a university hires a head coach, hope springs eternal. That coach is going to bring in his guys, and establish his culture with the program. He’s going to right all the wrongs of the former coach and birth a new era of football where ever he is. Arkansas was confident Chad Morris was going to do the same thing in Fayetteville for the Razorbacks.
Morris had been head coach at SMU for just three years and led the Mustangs to their first bowl game in six years. Arkansas was spurned by Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, and went with Morris over the likes of Memphis head coach Mike Norvell.
This was the great transition from former head coach Bret Bielema was fired after his last loss to Missouri.
Alas, it wasn’t to be for Morris. Fired before the completion of his second season, Morris’ short tenure was marred by unforgivable losses and regression on the field. You can forgive him for being winless in the SEC — Bielema was 4-12 his last two seasons in conference play — but it’s hard to un-see losses at home against San Jose State and Western Kentucky this season and North Texas last year.
What makes them so difficult is, save the San Jose State game, these were blowouts. Even if you are a below average Power Five team, you should have a talent edge over a Group of Five team. The Western Kentucky loss was the last straw. They weren’t competitive, and they had no fight.
The irony is that Morris had recruited well. Considering it was Arkansas, Morris had three consecutive top 50 classes including the 23rd ranked class in 2019 coming off a 2-10 season. There were reports of a coaching staff that had no cohesion which will raise eyebrows as well.
What got Morris fired is the exact same thing that go Willie Taggart fired at Florida State: economics.
According to hawgsports.com economics got Morris fired. Record low attendance at home games as well as sluggish season ticket sales are responsible for the Razorbacks cutting their losses and firing Morris. Poor attendance causes a cascade of losses in areas like concessions and memorabilia sales, and schools lose money. Season ticket sales are down 16 percent and home attendance is reaching record lows in Fayetteville.
Morris is gone and Barry Lunney Jr. has taken over as the interim head coach. Who, then, should replace Morris as head coach?
This isn’t a Christmas wish list. These are legitimate candidates to replace the outgoing head coach. Arkansas might want Urban Meyer, but we know he isn’t going there. There’s a report about Matt Campbell, but Arkansas isn’t a better job than Iowa State — at least not right now.
Let’s take a look at some real candidates, starting with the Group of Five.