Florida Coaching Target Profile: Chad Morris

At this point, it’s a virtual lock that Will Muschamp won’t be in Gainesville for much longer…and with that in mind, we’re profiling the targets Florida is lining up to replace him.

Chad Morris might not have the name recognition of Dan Mullen or Art Briles, but there are plenty of coaches and administrators who think he's on track to become one of the best head coaches in the country. Morris has been Clemson's offensive coordinator since 2011, and his clever schemes and general demeanor have earned comparisons to current Auburn HC Gus Malzahn and Baylor HC Art Briles.

Chad Morris Profile:

A native of Edgewood, TX (about 30 miles east of Dallas), Morris cut his teeth in the brutally competitive Texas high school football scene. After graduating from Texas A&M in 1992, Morris almost immediately earned a head coaching job at Eustace HS, where he coached for three years, but it was his next job that really kick-started his rise through the ranks.

At Elysian Fields HS, Morris won back-to-back 2A/D2 state titles in 1998 and 1999, earning him a move up to the larger Bay City HS, where he won the 4A Division I state title in 2000, his first year with the team. Next, Morris was named head coach of Stephenville HS, the program where Art Briles made his name in the mid-1990's. There, Morris coached future NFL QBs Kevin Kolb and Jevan Snead, and his success earned him a job with powerhouse Lake Travis HS.

Morris won state championships in both his two years at the school, setting the tone for a program that later became the first school in state history to win five consecutive state championships. From there, Morris finally made the leap to the college game, starting out at Tulsa, but Clemson immediately recognized his potential and offered him the offensive coordinator job in 2011.

Morris has interviewed for a handful of head coaching jobs since then (he was a finalist for the Texas Tech job that eventually went to Kliff Kingsbury), and it's only a matter of time before the right program comes along.

Key Stats:

45 Years Old (Born 12/4/1968)

Overall Record (as High School HC): 169-38 (.816)

Earned Coach of the Year honors in 11 of his 16 HS seasons

Was Rivals.com Offensive Coordinator of the Year in 2011

Florida's Interest in Morris:

We've heard conflicting reports on just how interested Florida is in Morris - one report had him on the shortlist, but a friend with connections to the athletic department told us he's in the second tier of candidates below the Dan Mullen/Art Briles-level guys. Either way, he's on their radar, and on a 1-10 scale, we'd peg the interest in Morris as a solid 7.

Morris' Interest In Florida:

There's no doubt Morris would seriously consider the job if it was presented to him, but it's likely he'll have quite a few offers to consider this summer. With Clemson entering a rebuilding phase after the graduation of several key players, it makes sense for Morris to move on after the season ends...but would he have his heart set on the Florida job? Only time will tell...

How Would The Fans React?

This would likely be a divisive hire within the Gators community. Some fans would be thrilled, especially considering the potential and creativity that Morris brings to the table. Others would likely be unimpressed - Florida is a marquee job, and getting an ACC coordinator (no matter how highly-regarded he is) would feel like a step in the wrong direction. There are plenty of fans, though, who would be thrilled to have anyone with a pulse, as long as it isn't Will Muschamp.

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