HOGS: Morris still coach after loss to WKU
FAYETTEVILLE - Chad Morris left Saturday’s postgame press conference still as Arkansas’ head football coach.
Speculation ran heavy that Morris, 4-18 in two seasons and 0-14 in the SEC, would part from Arkansas like predecessor Bret Bielema, who was fired postgame after an SEC loss to Missouri and a 4-8, 1-7 finish in 2017.
Arkansas lost 45-19 Saturday at Western Kentucky of Conference USA at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Morris insists he’s the man for the Arkansas job and knew when hired from SMU in December 2017 that the Razorbacks were in for a long rebuilding with a lot of growing pains he admitted makes fans, himself, staff and players “incredibly frustrated.”
“This is not an overnight fix,” Morris said. “We’ve seen that for two years. We’re all incredibly frustrated, but we have a big youth movement on this team and a lot of young guys who are contributing and who will be tremendous football players. Where we are right now with these guys we have some major deficiencies we have to fix, we have to fill. This is not an overnight fix."
UA athletic director Hunter Yurachek, expected to spend at least part of today at Orange Beach, Ala. for the SEC champion Razorbacks’ women’s soccer team SEC Tournament championship game with South Carolina, and Morris traditionally meet on Sundays after Arkansas football games, Morris said.
A Sunday meeting seems a certainty, if not sooner overnight.
“We talk each and every Sunday and go through the program in depth each week and go through the game,” Morris said. “He and I will continue to visit.”
So he still thinks he’s the man for the job?
"Absolutely. I am the guy,” Morris said. “There’s no question. I knew that this was going to take some time. I knew this was going to 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 that it needs to be successful. Right now, we don’t have that. We've got to go get that, and we've got to recruit to it, and we've got to continue to develop. Right now, it’s unfortunate we’re playing as many young guys as we're playing, but that's the truth."
Morris said recruiting is Arkansas’ way out and his ability to recruit, particularly in Texas where he coached high school ball for 16 years, is a part of it that he has done well.
“I knew from just looking at all the other SEC programs to get this program where it needs to be and the areas and the footprint that you need to recruit in,” Morris said. “That was part of the reason why I got the job, is because our recruiting and our footprint. That hasn’t changed and it’s not gonna change. We have got to continue to recruit. We’ve got to continue to develop, and that’s where we are. Everybody’s 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.”