Chad Morris to Arkansas? Jeff Traylor SMU’s Next Head Coach?
Earlier this evening rumors began swirling on social media that Chad Morris had taken the head coaching job at Arkansas.
That report HAS NOT been confirmed. What do we know? Nothing. Other than Morris is believed to be the leading candidate for the position. While no official word is being released, sometimes silence gives you the answer you need.
There have been no prior indications from Morris that he is interested in the Arkansas job, but from a coaching stand point it is a jump to the next level in the SEC that any coach would consider.
IF MORRIS LEAVES, WHAT?
Could Joe Craddock, SMU’s offensive coordinator be an option for the top position at SMU? Absolutely. However, Craddock is young and lacks experience. That being said, under Morris’ guidance he led an SMU offense that was very dominant.
A more likely scenario would be associate head coach and running backs coach Jeff Traylor. Traylor has deep ties to Texas football, he coached wide receivers, tight ends and special teams at the University of Texas. Prior to the job at Texas, Traylor coached Texas high school football’s legendary Gilmer high school where he won three state championships and had 11, 10 win seasons.
Traylor played football at SFA, shoutout to The Sawmill, and has been coaching Texas football since 1990.
According to SMU Athletics: under Traylor “the Gilmer offense put up the second-most points in the history of Texas high school football with 950 in 16 games for an average of 59.4 points per game. The Buckeyes scored over 60 points on nine occasions, twice posting 80 or more. They also averaged 536.1 total yards per game (8,577) with a balanced 293.9 passing yards and 242.1 rushing yards per contest. The defense was equally impressive, allowing only 276 points (17.3 ppg) with five single-digit performances and two shutouts, while recording 23 interceptions and forcing 17 fumbles.”
Traylor sounds like just the kind of coach SMU would want and need, more Texas ties to build on Morris’ foundation, and well rounded when it comes to offense and defense.
Another option for the position would be defensive coordinator Van Malone, however SMU’s defense, although improving, seemed to struggle significantly this season under Malone.
Other options for SMU would be outside hires like Kevin Sumlin who couldn’t reach a deal with UCF, or possibly Lane Kiffin. However, Kiffin would probably pose as a PR nightmare that the Hilltop Administration would prefer to avoid.