University of Arkansas fires Chad Morris after failing to win SEC game

Arkansas coach Chad Morris leaves the field following the team's 31-24 loss to San Jose State during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The Chad Morris-era as the head coach at the University of Arkansas ended Sunday.

Athletics Director Hunter Yurachek fired Morris just shy of him finishing two seasons with the school. The firing follows a 45-19 non-conference loss to Western Kentucky.

“As part of my continued evaluation, I have come to the conclusion that a change in leadership is necessary to move our football program forward and position it for success,” Yurachek said. “It is clear that we have not made the progress necessary to compete and win, especially within the Southeastern Conference. Throughout our history in football, as well as with our other sport programs, we have demonstrated that the University of Arkansas is capable of being nationally competitive. I have no doubt that as we move forward, we will identify a head coach that will help lead our program to that benchmark.

Morris finished his tenure with just a 4-18 record. The Hogs are 0-14 in the Southeastern Conference. That start to an SEC tenure by a head coach is the second-worst in conference history. The school’s SEC losing streak reached 18 straight games with a blowout loss at home against Mississippi State in early November. Arkansas has not won an SEC home game since the Hogs beat Florida on November 5, 2016.

Arkansas also lost non-conference games at home in 2019 against San Jose State and Western Kentucky.

“I want to express my personal and professional regard to Coach Morris and thank him for his investment in the lives of our student-athletes.”

Yurachek named assistant Barry Lunney, Jr. the interim head coach. Arkansas will have a bye week next week. The Hogs then go on the road to play SEC rival No. 2 LSU. The Razorbacks finish the season in Little Rock against rival Missouri.