Mansfield Legacy Coach Chris Melson has watched SMU Coach Chad Morris energize a struggling program that was 1-11 the year before he arrived in 2015.
Melson said Morris, who is in discussions to become the next coach at Arkansas, changed the course of the Mustangs' program in a short period of time.
“He totally revitalized that program at SMU,” Melson said. “Before he got there the recruiting was stagnant. Their exposure to everybody was very minimal, to say the least, and as soon as he showed up on campus SMU was everywhere. Their coaches and their social media and Chad’s presences took off, and of course it’s made the difference the last couple of years.
“He flies around high school games in helicopters and goes and sees the big games and makes himself available to all of the high school coaches.”
Morris was a high school coach in Texas for 16 seasons and had a 169-38 record. He won three state titles and was named coach of the year 11 times.
He became the co-offensive coordinator at Tulsa in 2010 under Todd Graham. The following year was named the offensive coordinator at Clemson and went on the set 127 offensive school records in four seasons before leaving for SMU.
Morris has an open door policy for high school coaches while at SMU.
“You can go over there and learn football at anytime,” Melson said. “Just call them. We’ve been there probably five or six times working on offense and watching practices and he’s just very. very open to high school coaches. He has a lot of energy and his staff is really sharp. They got things going in a hurry at SMU and the place was basically dead.”
Melson called Morris “a first class guy” and someone Arkansas fans will learn to like fairly soon.
“He’s going to treat people right,” Melson said. “He’ll treat kids right and he’ll do a great job at Arkansas. The fans there will be making that 'sooie' sound pretty quick.”