[editor’s note: See update at bottom.]
High school football in Texas is big. Real big.
So it’s not exactly surprising that a Lone Star State prep powerhouse is turning the focus of its head coaching search towards the college ranks.
Allen High School has zeroed in its search on Chad Morris, a former Texas prep legend who parlayed his high school success into head coaching stints at both SMU and Arkansas.
Legendary Texas prep coach Terry Gambill retired in mid-March, and Allen’s search for Gambill’s replacement drew nationwide interest, per a source.
Late Tuesday evening, multiple sources told FootballScoop that Morris was the Texas Class 6A Division I school’s preferred choice.
Gambill had spent the past five years at Allen, the final stop on his 36-year career. He guided Allen to the 2017 6A state title and lost just four times in 69 games.
Morris carved a national reputation first at the high school level in Texas. He was head coach at Eustace, Elysian Fields, Bay City and then had decorated stints at nationally known programs Stephenville and Austin Lake Travis. He went 169-38 in his 16 seasons, leading six teams to the state title game and winning back-to-back undefeated state championships at Lake Travis.
Morris was a college football head coach from 2015-19 at SMU and Arkansas before he spent the 2020 campaign as Gus Malzahn’s offensive coordinator at Auburn University.
Though sources said Morris had some college options during this cycle, he has taken a very deliberate approach in waiting for the right opportunity.
If Morris finalizes a deal with Allen, he also stands to be in much closer proximity to his children, who are both active in college football. Chandler Morris recently transferred from Oklahoma to TCU, and Mackenzie Morris is the recruiting operations coordinator at North Texas. Taking the Allen job would bring the Morris family within an hour’s drive of each other.
Allen is located in Collin County, Texas, one of the fastest-growing, most affluent counties in the country. The north Dallas county’s high schools have ridden the wave of their growing tax base by dotting the landscape with one football palace after another, and Allen’s Eagle Stadium is the most famous — or most infamous — of the bunch. Opened in 2012, the $60 million, 18,000-seat facility hosts just the Eagle football team.
As the only high school in a town of an estimated 105,000 people, Allen reported 6,959 students in 2020, making it the largest high school in Texas and one of the largest public schools in the nation.
Accordingly, Allen has never lost at Eagle Stadium, sporting a perfect 53-0 record. The program won five state titles from 2008-17. That includes a run of three consecutive titles in the state’s highest classification with Kyler Murray at the helm from 2012-14.
And now arguably the best high school job in America is zeroing in on the most overqualified high school coach in the country.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.
Wednesday morning update>
This is now a done deal:
We are pleased to announce Chad Morris as the new Head Coach of the Allen Eagles football program. Coach Morris brings a wealth of experience from the high school and collegiate ranks to Allen. Read more at https://t.co/mPB28y4cRj. pic.twitter.com/jHA2I0NyLT
— Allen ISD (@Allen_ISD) March 31, 2021