Chad Morris fired as Arkansas football coach

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Arkansas head coach Chad Morris looks on as his team plays Texas A&M during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. Texas A&M won 31-27. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

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Arkansas has fired football coach Chad Morris after less than two seasons, the school announced Sunday.

The move comes a day after the Razorbacks lost 45-19 at home to Western Kentucky to fall to 2-8 this season. Morris went 4-18 overall, including 0-14 in SEC games.

“As part of my continued evaluation, I have come to the conclusion that a change in leadership is necessary to move our football program forward and position it for success,” Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek said. “It is clear that we have not made the progress necessary to compete and win, especially within the Southeastern Conference. Throughout our history in football, as well as with our other sport programs, we have demonstrated that the University of Arkansas is capable of being nationally competitive. I have no doubt that as we move forward, we will identify a head coach that will help lead our program to that benchmark.

“I want to express my personal and professional regard to Coach Morris and thank him for his investment in the lives of our student-athletes.”

Morris, 50, was hired at Arkansas after three seasons at SMU, where he went 14-22. Prior to that, he was offensive coordinator at Clemson and Tulsa, for many years was a highly successful Texas high school coach.

Arkansas played back-to-back competitive SEC games earlier this season, losing to Texas A&M 31-27 and Kentucky 24-20, but have cratered since then. The last three weeks, the Razorbacks have been outscored 147-50 by Alabama, Mississippi State and Western Kentucky.

Barry Lunney Jr., Arkansas’ special teams coach and a former Razorbacks quarterback, has been installed as interim head coach. The Razorbacks have an open date before traveling to LSU on Nov. 23.