Chad Morris is the first-year head football coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. He’s also the father of the starting quarterback of the Highland Park Scots in Dallas, Texas. Reconciling those two things is already beginning to prove a bit more difficult that Morris and others may have expected, at least in terms of the image it presents.
As reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, when Morris accepted the Arkansas job in December, the Morris family came up with a plan: He would move full-time to Fayetteville to lead the Razorbacks, but the rest of the family would remain in the Dallas area so son Chandler Morris would continue his high school career at Highland Park.
As a junior, Chandler Morris has two seasons remaining at Highland Park, counting the ongoing 2018 campaign. And his father is committed to being at as many of his games as possible.
The key is that the elder Morris insists he won’t miss any meetings or other team events to attend Highland Park’s games. And because his son is playing in the contests, they won’t count against the school’s total allotment of 42 games they can attend. That’s actually an occasional advantage, as the younger Morris may occasionally face off against a school with an Arkansas recruiting target.
Still, it immediately becomes a bone of contention among fans when Arkansas loses a game many expected them to win, as they did Saturday at Colorado State; while the Arkansas team was in Fort Collins, Colo. around 5 p.m., Morris didn’t arrive until some seven hours later after taking in Highland Park’s victory against Mesquite Horn.
This week, Morris gets a bit of a reprieve as Highland Park faces off against Dallas-area foe Frisco Lone Star on Thursday night. That means the coach will be in attendance for all of Friday’s lead-up to Arkansas’ home game against North Texas on Saturday afternoon.
That doesn’t mean the controversy won’t rear its head again, particularly if Arkansas falls to another surprising loss. Just don’t expect Morris’ plans to change, particularly given the level of support he’s receiving from Arkansas AD Hunter Yurachek.
“I had a son that played college football over the past four years and I fought tooth and nail to make sure I didn’t miss very many of his games, especially not his home games,” Yurachek said of his son Ryan, who graduated from Marshall last year. “And I missed several of the events at the University of Houston when I was an athletics director there because I thought it was very important for me to be at my son’s games.
“I have full trust in Coach Morris … He’ll handle that the right way, and he already has.”