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Monday, December 9
Updated: December 10, 11:19 AM ET
Baylor set to introduce Morriss on Wednesday news services

DALLAS -- Guy Morriss has signed a contract to become the next head coach at Baylor, says Kentucky athletics director Kentucky Mitch Barnhar

Morriss, who has announced his resignation at Kentucky, is set to become the second SEC football coach in a week to jump to the Big 12.

Morriss will be formally introduced as the replacement for fired Baylor coach Kevin Steele during a news conference Wednesday in Waco, a source close to the Bears program confirmed to ESPN Monday night.

Barnhart confirmed the resignation Monday night.

"I'm very appreciative of the contributions of coach Morriss, his staff and family in laying the foundation for the rebuilding of Kentucky football,'' Barnhart said in a statement. "We wish them the best as they take the next step in their lives and careers.''

A team meeting for Kentucky players was scheduled Tuesday afternoon.

Barnhart told The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., that Morriss told him he had signed a contract with Baylor before returning to Kentucky.

Dennis Franchione left Alabama -- which like Kentucky is on NCAA probation -- last week after a 10-3 season to become the new coach at Texas A&M, where he replaced fired 14-year coach R.C. Slocum.

Like Morriss, Franchione returned to Texas, having previously coached at TCU for three seasons.

Steele was fired Nov. 3, but coached Baylor's last three games, all losses to cap a 3-9 season. Steele was 9-36 over four years and 1-31 in the Big 12.

The Bears lost their first 25 conference games under Steele before a 35-32 win over Kansas on Oct. 5.

The 51-year-old Morriss was 9-14 in two seasons as Kentucky's coach. He replaced Hal Mumme when the former coach resigned in February 2001 amid internal and NCAA investigations.

Kentucky was 7-5 this season, but wasn't eligible for a bowl because of NCAA sanctions. It was the Wildcats' first seven-win season since 1998, the final season for quarterback Tim Couch.

After the Wildcats won their first four games this season -- their best start in 18 years -- Barnhart rewarded Morriss by adding two more seasons to his contract, through the 2007 season.

The UK Athletics Association had expected to discuss Morriss' contract, and a possible raise, during its scheduled meeting Tuesday.

Morriss made $400,000 a year at Kentucky, including a base salary of $170,000 plus compensation for his radio and TV shows and the school's endorsement deal with Nike.

While details of his Baylor contract weren't known, Morriss could make about $1 million annually at the Big 12's only private school.

Morriss was on the losing end of one of the most bizarre and agonizing finishes ever, when LSU won 33-30 at Kentucky on a deflected 75-yard touchdown pass Nov. 9.

As the final play was still unfolding, Morriss was sopping wet -- having already been doused with Gatorade -- while fireworks were exploding from the scoreboard and Wildcats fans were attacking a goal post.

Morriss is a native of Colorado City, Texas, and played offensive guard at TCU from 1969-72, earning All-Southwest Conference honors his senior season. He then played 15 NFL seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, appearing in two Super Bowls.

After several assistant jobs in college and the pros, Morriss became Kentucky's offensive line coach under Mumme in 1997.

Morriss is expected to bring most of his Kentucky staff with him, including two former Baylor assistants: defensive coordinator John Goodner and offensive line coach Chris Lancaster.

Wildcats defensive tackles coach Tom Adams played at Rice and coached at Rice, SMU and Sam Houston. Safeties coach Larry Hoefer has been on the Texas Tech and UTEP staffs.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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