With a rather attractive vacancy now open at Vanderbilt, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris figures to be one of the names to be in the conversation to fill it. That may be the case, but Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is pretty confident he will keep his offensive coordinator on his sideline in 2014.
According to the Associated Press, Morris was on Clemson’s campus on Saturday for the football program’s end-of-the-year banquet. Asked about Morris being tied to any other potential job offers, Swinney suggested the talk is overblown.
Clemson has previously done a solid job in locking in their coordinators to keep them happy. Morris is the highest paid assistant coach in college football with a salary just over $1.3 million according to a USA Today database of assistant coaching salaries. Clemson’s financial commitment to Morris is supplemented by a healthy paycheck to defensive coordinator Brent Venables as well. Part of the contract details for Morris allow for him to leave without penalty if offered a head coaching job elsewhere, but a lateral move will come at a price. If Morris left for a school offering the same position, then Morris would have to pay back Clemson $1.3 million for each year remaining on his contract. Today that would add up to $5.2 million.
Morris is not likely to go anywhere to take on the same title as offensive coordinator, but a chance to become a head coach should be coming his way in the near future. Will Vanderbilt be the school extending that opportunity? If not this year, expect Morris to remain one of the top assistants ready to become a head coach in the next version of the coaching carousel if Clemson’s offense can thrive in the post-Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins era.