CLEMSON — Chad Morris’ trip on this winter’s coaching carousel is never dull
Thursday night, Clemson's second-year offensive coordinator had to quell a report that he would interview with South Florida for its head coaching position
ESPN reported that Morris will interview with USF officials Friday regarding their head coaching vacancy, but Morris told The (Charleston) Post and Courier that he wasn't doing so, saying he was recruiting Friday, conducting Clemson's first bowl practice Saturday, and watching former Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen with the Indianapolis Colts Sunday.
South Florida is attempting to replace Skip Holtz, who was fired last week after completing his third season with a 3-9 record. South Florida finished the season with a desultory 27-3 loss to Pittsburgh before 18,441 fans, gaining just 117 yards of total offense, the lowest in program history.
Morris has revitalized Clemson’s offense in two seasons with his hurry-up, no-huddle attack. The Tigers finished the regular season in the top 13 nationally in scoring offense, total offense and passing offense.
Morris interviewed with N.C. State for its head coaching vacancy, which was filled by Northern Illinois’ Dave Doeren, and reportedly interviewed with Auburn for its vacancy, which was filled by Arkansas State’s Gus Malzahn, a Morris coaching mentor.
South Florida is an intriguing job. The Bulls share Raymond James Stadium with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Florida is one of the most fertile recruiting areas in America.
Morris makes $1.3 million annually as the nation’s highest-paid assistant coach; last year, he signed a six-year, $7.8 million contract which has no buyout if he leaves for a head coaching position.
USF paid Holtz a $2 million annual salary, and is also responsible for a $2.5 million buyout over the next five years. School officials have said that money is a not a concern in their search, and they are open to head coaches and assistants.
USF reportedly interviewed Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggart this week, and former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden has also expressed interest in the job.