Arkansas hires SMU coach Chad Morris, agreeing to six-year, $21M contract

Morris prioritizing recruiting at Arkansas (1:32)

New Arkansas head coach Chad Morris says "the jet's fueled up and we're ready to go," and adds that he came to the school to win championships. (1:32)

Chad Morris has agreed to be Arkansas' head football coach, the school announced Wednesday.

Arkansas said Morris agreed to a six-year, $21 million contract.

"The future is tremendously bright at the University of Arkansas with the addition of Chad Morris," newly hired athletic director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement. "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."

Arkansas will formally introduce Morris on Thursday.

Morris, 49, had a 14-22 record as the coach at SMU, but his team's performance had improved dramatically over the past three seasons. The Mustangs went 2-10 in his first season in 2015, 5-7 in 2016 and 7-5 this season.

He was the architect of high-scoring offenses at Texas high schools and Clemson before rebuilding SMU's program.

Other candidates for the Arkansas job included Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Memphis coach Mike Norvell, who agreed to a contract extension to remain with the school Tuesday.

The Mustangs will play Louisiana Tech in the DXL Frisco Bowl on Dec. 20 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The Razorbacks fired Bret Bielema last month after a 4-8 finish in his fifth season. Arkansas hired Yurachek as its new athletic director on Monday.

SMU associate head coach and running backs coach Jeff Traylor has been named interim head coach, a school source told ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.