It’s been rumored for more than a week that John Chavis would be brought in to oversee the Hogs’ defense. Tuesday morning, that came to fruition.
In twin press releases, Arkansas confirmed that new head coach Chad Morris has hired Chavis as his defensive coordinator. Chavis will also serve as the Razorbacks’ linebackers coach.
Chavis had spent the past three seasons as the coordinator at Texas A&M, coming back on the market after Kevin Sumlin was fired and Jimbo Fisher hired. All told, he’s spent the past 23 seasons as an SEC coordinator — A&M, LSU (2009-14) and Tennessee (1995-2008). Counting his time as an assistant at UT prior to being named coordinator, Chavis has called the SEC his coaching home for the past 29 years.
“I’m excited to have Coach Chavis as our defensive coordinator, which was a very important hire for our program,” said offensive-minded Morris said about adding a veteran defensive presence to his staff. “It’s so important to play great defense in the SEC and Coach Chavis brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and success in the league to the table.”
“I’m excited for the opportunity to help Coach Morris build the Arkansas program and join the great staff that he is putting together,” Chavis said. “It’s a great time to be at the University of Arkansas and I can’t wait to get started on building a defense that our fans can be excited about.”
In addition to Chavis, Morris also announced the hiring of Joe Craddock as offensive coordinator. Along with his coordinating duties, Craddock will coach quarterbacks for the Razorbacks as well.
Craddock was Morris’ coordinator and quarterbacks coach at SMU the past three seasons. They also worked together for three years on Dabo Swinney‘s Clemson staff prior to Morris taking the SMU job and Craddock following.
“Joe is one of the bright, young minds in all of college football,” Morris said. “He worked underneath us at Clemson and was very instrumental in our success there. I took him with me to SMU and saw him grow both as a person and as a coordinator during the last three years. He has a great mind and feel for the game, and I’m excited to have him on our staff and what we bring to the table in our high-powered offense.”