REPORT: Traylor to be Named Interim Coach

Chad Morris is out at SMU after accepting the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas.

As we predicted yesterday, associate head coach and running backs coach Jeff Traylor will be named the interim head coach reports ESPN.

It is believed that Traylor will be heavily considered for the head coaching position at SMU.

Traylor joined Morris’ coaching staff in February 2017. As we wrote previously, prior to SMU, Traylor coached tight ends and special teams at the University of Texas. Like Morris, Traylor has a storied legacy in Texas high school football. Traylor was the head coach in at Gilmer High School for 15 seasons where he amassed 175-26 win loss record (.871). During those 15 seasons Gilmer High School won 3 state championships and 12 district titles.

In 2004 and 2014 Traylor guided the Buckeyes to perfection with 16-0 records and state titles both years.

In February 2014, when Traylor was hired, Morris told SMU Athletics, “He has deep ties to Texas high school football, particularly in east Texas, and I consider him one of the bright offensive minds in college football.”

Traylor’s deeply rooted Texas football ties include his brother, Kurt Traylor, who is currently the head coach at Robert E. Lee High school in Tyler, Texas. Why is this relevant? Well, during Jeff’s dominant run at Gilmer High School, his brother Kurt helped orchestrate Gilmer’s offensive power as the O-line coach and run game coordinator for Gilmer. If Jeff is named SMU’s next head coach, I’d look to see his brother Kurt make the move from high school to college.


During his time at the University of Texas, Traylor is largely credited with being responsible for UT’s 2016 top ten recruiting class.

In fact, because of his recruiting efforts Traylor was named’s Big XII recruiter of the year.

Traylor has shown to a recruiting whiz. With nearly three decades of experience in Texas football, he knows who to call, what to say and exactly how to say it.

Like Morris, Traylor is believed to be an offensive guru. In 2014, during Gilmer’s perfect run to a state championship, 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.

As the running backs coach at SMU, in 2017, Traylor coached Xavier Jones to a 1,000 yard season, while at the same time coaching both Ke’mon Freeman and Braeden West to over 500 yards on the season each. SMU scored 26 total rushing touchdowns while gaining 2,230 yards on the ground. Nationally, SMU’s rush offense ranked 44th in the nation.

SMU will most likely wait until after the December 20th Frisco Bowl to announce the head coach, but as players are being notified of Morris’ departure, the #JeffTraylorForHeadCoach hashtag has already started stampeding throughout the Hilltop.

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