After four years at Clemson, Chad Morris will finally get his head coaching opportunity. The Tiger's offensive coordinator accepted the head coaching position at Southern Methodist University and will return to his native Texas and head up a Mustang program that is frankly pretty bad. SMU is 0-11 so far this year and is in need of a full rebuild. The deal is believed to be for $2 million a year.
While at Clemson, Morris presided over one of the most prolific offenses in school and ACC history. Though he was unable to establish the power running game he favors in his HUNH offense, he was still able to craft an effective offense with Tajh Boyd under center. With Morris, Clemson was able to win the schools first ACC title in 20 years and establish itself as a national presence.
This may be the best result for Clemson and Morris. This year has seen a rise in criticism of Morris thanks to what can generously be described as an anemic offense. How much of that is Morris' fault or the result of a lack of talent at key positions is up for debate, but as OC Morris is going to get the blame. The truth is probably somewhere in between, but now Clemson can move on without the bitter taste of a great OC gone bad.
Now it is Dabo's turn to step up and make another great hire. Ideally the best candidate would be someone with previous offensive coordinator experience, especially experience running a HUNH offense. Some possibly candidates could include Auburn OC Rhett Lashlee, ECU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, Arizona State OC Mike Norvell, and possibly even former Duke and current Florida OC Kurt Roper.
The big question that may need to be answered before any of these coordinators are interviewed is that status of WR coach Jeff Scott. There has always been the underlying rumor that Scott would go with Morris to become OC, but recent rumors suggest Morris will not be taking any Clemson coaches with him and Scott would be the favorite to become Clemson's OC.
Personally I'd prefer to let Scott go or keep him in his current role. I'm not enamored with the idea of promoting someone into the position, especially when Dabo doesn't have the necessary experience as an OC. If Dabo had the experience then we could afford to have an OC learn on the job, but instead we would have two coaches learning about offense. It would be better for Clemson to bring someone in that knows how to run an offense.