Chad Morris has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Auburn, head coach Gus Malzahn announced Tuesday. A 28-year coaching veteran, Morris has spent the last 10 years as one of the top offensive minds in college football helping three programs finish in the top 10 in the FBS in scoring average.
A Dallas, Texas, native, Morris served as head coach at Arkansas (2018-19) and SMU (2015-17) after four record-breaking seasons as offensive coordinator at Clemson (2011-14). A legendary high school coach in the state of Texas for 16 years from 1994-2009, Morris broke into the college game as associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Tulsa in 2010.
“I’m super excited to have Chad Morris join our staff at Auburn. He’s a tremendous offensive mind who has had success with several top-ranked offenses during his time in the college ranks. I’ve known Chad for almost 20 years and he is a tireless worker and a perfectionist. He is a great addition to our program and I look forward to him helping Auburn win championships!”
In three seasons at SMU (2015-17), Morris used his Texas recruiting roots and offensive prowess to take the Mustangs from a 1-11 campaign in 2013 before he took over to the program’s first bowl bid five years with a 7-5 mark in 2017.
Morris’ offensive scheme increased the team’s scoring output from 128th the year before his arrival into the nation’s eighth-highest scoring offense (40.1) in 2017. The 2017 Mustangs were one of just two FBS teams that featured a 3,000-yard passer, 1000-yard rusher and multiple 1,000-yard receivers.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to join Coach Malzahn’s staff at Auburn. I’ve known Gus since the early 2000s and consider him a dear friend and someone that helped me get into the profession at the college level. I’ve admired the success he’s had at each of his stops and look forward to adding to the success that he, his staff and the players have built. We are excited about joining the Auburn family.”
Morris’ impact during his four years at Clemson as offensive coordinator helped result in a 41-11 record, the 2011 ACC Championship and four bowl berths, including two BCS Orange Bowl appearances. Under Morris’ offense, the Tigers set 127 offensive records (89 individual/38 team) and posted the top three scoring seasons in school history, as well as four of the top five passing seasons at Clemson.
The Clemson offense in its second season under Morris with ACC Player of the Year Tajh Boyd at quarterback set school records for total yards per game (512.7) and points per game (41.0), ranking sixth in the nation in scoring and ninth in the nation in total offense. The 2013 squad backed up those numbers with 508.5 yards and 40.2 points per game, both top 10 nationally.
Morris’ record-setting offense in 2012 and 2013 marked the first time in ACC history that an active member of the conference had averaged more than 40 points per game in back-to-back seasons. Clemson was also one of just two FBS schools with a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver every year from 2011-13.
For his work, Morris was named AFCA National Assistant Coach of the Year and one of five finalists for National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by 247Sports.com in 2013, and the National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by Rivals.com in 2011.
From the 2012 NFL Draft to 2015 NFL Draft, Morris saw seven of his offensive players drafted, including four wide receivers, tied for the most from any school over that span. Included in the quartet of wide receivers drafted were first round picks DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans) and Sammy Watkins (Los Angeles Rams). Morris also recruited 2015 All-Americans Deshaun Watson and Shaq Lawson, who both went on to be first round NFL draft picks.
Morris’ collegiate debut came as the associate head coach/offensive coordinator at Tulsa in 2010. In his one season as offensive coordinator working specifically with the quarterbacks, Morris helped the Golden Hurricane average 41.4 points per game, sixth nationally, and finish with a 10-3 record. Tulsa scored 50 or more points in four games and finished as one of five FBS teams with over 30 rushing and 30 passing touchdowns.
Morris became a legend in the state of Texas during his 16 years as a head coach at the high school level, posting a 169-38 record overall and winning back-to-back undefeated state championships in his final two seasons at Lake Travis High School. Morris led six of his teams to the Texas State Championship game, highlighted by three titles, and he earned Coach of the Year honors 11 times.
Morris earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in statistics from Texas A&M University in 1992. He and his wife, Paula, have two children, daughter Mackenzie and son Chandler.