The University of Arkansas will hire SMU's Chad Morris to be its next head football coach, according to KTHV in Little Rock. During his time leading the Mustangs, the 49 year old recorded an overall record of 14-22.
The Mustangs are guaranteed a winning record for the first time since 2012 and for the fifth time since the program rebooted in 1989.
Before SMU, Morris spent four seasons at Clemson, where he helped turn the Tigers into an offensive power house with his "tempo" approach and played a major role in the recruitment of quarterback Deshaun Watson, now with the Houston Texans. Morris' name has been associated with the opening since before former head coach Bret Bielema was hired, the day after Bielema was sacked and throughout the search.
The Razorbacks are looking for a replacement for Bret Bielema, who was sacked last month.
Arkansas' search began without an athletic director; Jeff Long was also fired last month.
Morris successfully rebuilt SMU in his three seasons with the program. He led Lake Travis High School to back-to-back undefeated seasons and state championship in Texas' highest level of competition.
Gus Malzahn, who was a walk-on wide receiver for two years in 1984-95 at Arkansas and was an offensive coordinator at the school in 2006, had been connected to the job before he agreed to a seven-year deal to remain head coach at Auburn.
SMU went 7-5 in the 2017 regular season and finished eighth in the country while averaging 40.2 points per game and more than 300 yards passing per contest, ranked 16th in the nation.