Dabo Swinney announced Monday that Chad Morris and Marion Hobby will join the Clemson football coaching staff. Both accepted positions over the weekend. Morris will serve as Clemson’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, while Hobby will be defensive ends coach.
Their appointments will be official after normal background checks are completed this week. Coach Swinney and the coaches will be available to the media once those checks are completed.
Morris was the offensive coordinator at Tulsa this past season and guided that offense to among the best in the nation. That offense was a big reason Tulsa improved from 5-7 in 2009 to 10-3 this past season. The Golden Hurricanes won their last seven games, including a 28-27 victory at Notre Dame, the last loss of the season for the Fighting Irish, who finished with a four-game winning streak and an 8-5 record.
The Golden Hurricanes ranked 13th in the nation in passing offense with 288.7 yards per game and 15th in rushing offense with 216.9 yards per game. Their 505.6 total offense yards per game ranked fifth best in the nation. Tulsa was the only school in the nation to rank in the top 15 in the nation in both rushing offense and passing offense.
Tulsa averaged 41.4 points per game, eighth best in the nation, and scored at least 28 points in 12 of their 13 games. Tulsa was also fifth nationally in first downs per game with 25.6, and tied for fifth in touchdowns scored from the red-zone with 46. Morris’s offense scored 64 touchdowns overall off scrimmage plays, 32 rushing and 32 passing.
What was especially impressive was the improvement Tulsa made compared to the 2009 season, the year before Morris arrived. Tulsa improved from 58th in the nation in rushing to 15th, from 32nd in passing to 13th, 35th to fifth in total offense, and 44th in scoring to eighth.
Prior to coming to Tulsa, Morris had an 82 percent winning percentage as a high school coach in the state of Texas. He led Lake Travis High School to back to back undefeated 16-0 State Championship seasons. He won three state titles overall and played in six state championship games in his high school career.
His 2008 team ranked second in the nation by USA Today and eighth by Rivals.com, while his 2009 team was second by Rivals.com and ninth by USA Today. He had an overall high school record of 169-38.
Hobby returns to Clemson after spending the last three years at Duke. He was assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach for the Blue Devils under Head Coach David Cutcliffe. In 2008, the Blue Devil defense held the opposition to 23.4 points per game, the lowest in 20 years, and held three opponents to less than 10 points, a first for the program since 1976.
This is Hobby’s second tour of duty at Clemson. He served as defensive line coach in 2005, helping the Tigers to an 8-4 season and a top 25 finish in the AP poll. Clemson finished 11th in the nation in scoring defense that year, allowing just 17.6 points per game. Clemson also ranked in the top 25 in the country in total defense, pass efficiency defense and rush defense that year.
Hobby has NFL experience as well. He was an assistant with the New Orleans Saints in 2006 and 2007. The 2006 Saints finished with a 10-6 record and won the NFC South. Among his players that year was Will Smith, starting defense end who had 10.5 sacks and started in the Pro Bowl.
Prior to coming to Clemson, Hobby worked for Cutcliffe for six seasons at Mississippi (1999-04). During that time, the Rebels had a 43-29 record with five winning seasons and four bowl appearances. They won a share of the SEC West title in 2003.
Hobby got his start in coaching in 1995 working with the defensive tackles at Tennessee-Martin. He served two seasons at Southwest Louisiana as strength and conditioning coach (1996) and defensive tackles coach (1997) before spending one year at Tennessee as assistant strength and conditioning coach. That 1998 season Tennessee won the National Championship.
A four-year letterman and three-year starter on defense at Tennesee from 1986-89. Hobby served as team captain as a senior in 1989 when the Volunteers ran up an 11-1 record, captured the SEC championship, defeated Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl and finished the year ranked fifth in the final AP poll. Tennessee won three bowl games and had a 33-14-1 record during his four years.
Hobby was a first-team All-SEC selection in 1989 and was named to Tennessee’s 100-year Anniversary team. A third round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1990 NFL draft, Hobby played three years for the New England Patriots (1990-92).