Chad Morris Fired as Arkansas Football Head Coach After 4-18 Record

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2019

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 9:   Head Coach Chad Morris of the Arkansas Razorbacks yells at the official during the second half of a game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Razorback Stadium on November 9, 2019 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Hilltoppers defeated the Razorbacks 45-19.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Chad Morris is out at Arkansas.

The Razorbacks announced Sunday the firing of Morris following a 45-19 loss to Western Kentucky on Saturday. Arkansas is now just 2-8 on the season and 4-18 since Morris was hired in Dec. 2017. 

"As part of my continued evaluation, I have come to the conclusion that a change in leadership is necessary to move our football program forward and position it for success," vice chancellor and director of athletics Hunter Yurachek said in a statement. "It is clear that we have not made the progress necessary to compete and win, especially within the Southeastern Conference."

According to that press release, tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. will take over as interim head coach.

Per Dan Wolken of USA Today, "the decision to make a change before Morris could complete his second season had been weeks in the making."

He added, "With little evidence that the program was trending in the right direction and an exodus of fan support, Arkansas had little choice but to go in a different direction."

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Arkansas will pay a steep price to move on from Morris, owing him a $10 million buyout, according to that report, just two years after firing Bret Bielema, who had an $11.9 million buyout.

Despite the drubbing against Western Kentucky, Morris maintained after the game that the Razorbacks were on the right track.

"It's going to take some time," he told reporters. "Everybody is frustrated with that and I get it. I am, too. But I also understand that to get this thing right, it's going to take some time in this league."

He also said after the loss that he believed he was still the right man for the job.

"I am the guy. There's no question. I knew that this would take some time. I knew that this would be a process of recruiting and developing and building, especially in this conference. I knew the strains that take place weekly in this conference and the depth you need to be successful. Right now we don't have that. We have to go get that, recruit to that and develop. Right now it's unfortunate that we're playing as many young guys as we're playing, but that's the truth to it."

Arkansas disagreed, however, and those young players will now have new leadership going forward following Sunday's decision. 

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