CLEMSON – Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris met with reporters for the first time in three weeks Saturday, expressing his commitment to the program.
Following the end of the regular season, Morris met with N.C. State and Texas Tech about their respective head coaching vacancies, which have since been filled. Morris has become an in-demand coaching commodity after leading Clemson to the nation’s ninth-best yardage total this season.
Morris was asked if he’s finished having conversations about head coaching opportunities this bowl season and following offseason.
“I’m back. I’m telling you I’m back,” Morris said. “I never left. Y’all had me leaving. I never left. I am in Clemson.”
Morris met with Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt on Tuesday at the Anderson Regional Airport for two hours. Texas Tech hired Texas A & M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury to be its head coach Wendesday.
“It wasn’t the right fit,” Morris said. “I think it’s a very good program. (Kingsbury) is what that fan base wanted and that’s what they needed. I have no ill will.”
While it appears Morris will be on the Clemson sideline for the 2013 season, it’s plausible if not likely the in-demand Morris will not complete the six-year $7.8 million contract he signed with Clemson prior to the season.
Morris is interested in becoming a head coach and he did not deny that desire Saturday. But he is willing to be selective.
“The one thing I know about this business is you get one shot at it,” Morris said. “It has to be on my terms ... That way if it doesn’t work out, hey, I did it and I had every resource.”
Some speculated Morris was out pricing himself out of head coaching opportunities. Morris’s $1.3 million contract is much greater than some non-BCS level head coaching salaries. But Morris said his compensation requests were not an issue.
“It has nothing to do with money at this stage,” Morris said, “From a head coaching salary (standpoint) it’s not about that. It’s about ‘have they won in the past?’ What is the commitment level.”
Morris thought he had become a distraction to Clemson’s bowl preparation.
Morris told the team he is committed to the program Thursday, and explained his interest in becoming a head coach.
“If your goal is to be CEO of fortune 500 company and you are serving in another fortune 500 company, but not serving at CEO level, when they call are you going to listen,” Morris said.
Morris is going to listen. But would he listen to a head coaching offers from non-BCS schools? His mentor Gus Malzahn left Auburn to become the head coach at Arkansas State and now Malzahn is the head coach at Auburn.
The only power-conference job remaining open is Wisconsin, which doesn’t seem to be a recruiting or philosophical fit for Morris.
“I don’t know if you limit yourself,” Morris said. “Does it fit your needs? It’s so much about fit. I think you listen and see what the commitment level is there.”
But for now, Morris said he is done listening.