Baylor is zeroing in on Chad Morris to be its next head coach, sources in Waco told FootballScoop on Tuesday.
Morris has rapidly transformed the SMU program, taking the Ponies from a 1-11 record in 2014 and 2-10 in Morris's first season to doorstep of a bowl game while playing in one of college football's deepest, most competitive divisions.
Speaking to the Dallas Morning NewsTuesday, Morris said no one in green and gold has reached out to him personally at this point.
"This time of year in college football -- this time of year even when I was in high school football -- that's just what happens," Morris said. "Even when I was at Clemson as a coordinator, it was every year. Every year at this time something comes up, somebody's mentioned your for this job. You're either getting fired because you ain't won enough games or you're leaving because you've won too many games. Or you've got a program going in the right direction. That's just the way this business is at this time of year."
A Texas native, a veteran of the state's high school coaching ranks and an offensive innovator, Morris checks each of the boxes new Baylor AD Mack Rhoades outlined when searching for the Bears' next permanent head coach. “We have a brand in terms of the way we play, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I doubt if we’re going to bring anybody in here who runs the triple option," Rhoades told the Waco Tribune-Herald in September. “Obviously the state of Texas is important, so whether that’s the head coach or the staff they put together that’s certainly imperative.”
Within the profession, there is also belief Baylor will want to speak with Houston's Tom Herman. Rhoades hired Herman at Houston before leaving for Missouri and, eventually, Baylor.
SMU closes its regular season at home against Navy on Saturday afternoon and, for obvious reasons, Baylor would like to turn the page from an ugly six months by getting its new hire in place as fast as possible. (For what it's worth, Baylor won't complete its regular season until a Dec. 3 trip to West Virginia.)
On the SMU side of things, sources told FootballScoop SMU will be offering Morris a contract extension and a raise to remain in Dallas.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.