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Arkansas hires Morris; Traylor interim SMU coach

By KURT VOIGT
Dec. 6, 2017 at 10:02 p.m.


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas had its best back-to-back seasons in the Southeastern Conference when Bobby Petrino was leading a high-powered offensive attack during the 2010-11 seasons.

The Razorbacks have turned to an up-tempo, offensive-minded coach — albeit one without the Petrino's scandalous baggage — to try and rekindle that level of success.

Arkansas hired SMU's Chad Morris on Wednesday, ending nearly two weeks of uncertainty following Bret Bielema's firing moments after the season ended.

The 49-year-old Morris inherits a program in disarray, though his arrival — along with the hiring earlier in the week of new athletic director Hunter Yurachek — represents a fresh start for a program desperately in need of it.

"The future is tremendously bright at the University of Arkansas with the addition of Chad Morris," Yurachek said.

"I am confident that Chad will bring an exciting brand of football, phenomenal student-athletes and championships to Fayetteville, and do it all with high integrity."

Former Gilmer High School head coach Jeff Traylor was named the interim head coach as SMU prepares for the DXL Frisco Bowl on Dec. 20.

Traylor is in first season as an associate head coach and running backs coach at SMU after two seasons at the University of Texas.

"Associate head coach Jeff Traylor will serve as our interim head coach for the bowl game," SMU athletic director Rick Hart said in a statement to the Dallas Morning News. "Jeff has an extensive coaching background at the college and high school levels, including experience as a head coach."

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