December 12, 2022

DENTON, Texas – Eric Morris has been hired as the 20th head coach in North Texas history, Vice President and Director of Athletics Jared Mosley announced Tuesday.
"We are truly excited to welcome Coach Eric Morris and his family to North Texas," Mosley said. "From early in our process Eric was able to clearly articulate his vision for UNT and what we can do in the short term to build momentum as we transition to the American Athletic Conference.
"Among a deep and talented pool of candidates Eric distinguished himself with his great energy and strong track record as a championship head coach and a proven developer of talent. As a Texas native, he has deep relationships across the state, and he understands the importance of connecting with campus and the local community."
A record-setting offensive play-caller with extensive experience in the state of Texas, Morris comes to Denton following one season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Washington State. He previously served as head coach at Incarnate Word in San Antonio for four seasons from 2018-21.
"I am incredibly honored to be the head football coach at North Texas," Morris said. "I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity given to me by Jared Mosley and President Smatresk to lead UNT Football into a new era in The American.  As a native Texan, I understand the pride and standard of Mean Green football and I am humbled to be able to lead this storied program. My wife, Maggie, and our boys are so excited to return home. We can't wait to meet the team and get to work."
In his first season with Washington State, the 37-year-old Morris has engineered an offense that ranks first in the Pac 12 and 10th nationally in redzone efficiency, scoring 91.5 percent of its trips inside the 20. The Cougars' 52 points at Stanford were the most scored in a conference game since 2019, and the most in a road conference game since 2018.
Under his guidance, quarterback Cameron Ward, who followed Morris from UIW, passed for 23 touchdowns (6th, Pac-12; 29th, FBS) and completed 298 passes (2nd, Pac-12; 10th, FBS). Ward posted five games with at least one rushing and one passing touchdown.
Ward finished the regular season with 3,094 passing yards and 23 touchdowns to go with 285 rushing yards and five scores. He completed 64.1 percent of his passes.
The Cougars also displayed a rejuvenated ground game, as Jaylen Jenkins became the first WSU freshman with 100 or more rushing yards in a game since 2005 with 130 against USC. Nakia Watson was the first rusher with consecutive 100-yards games following 166 at Stanford and 116 in a win over Arizona State.
In his UIW tenure, Morris was twice named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year (2018, 2021). He led the Cardinals to two conference titles (2018, 2021), twice reached the FCS playoffs, and left UIW as the program record holder for victories with 24.
During his time in San Antonio, Morris posted a 24-18 record and orchestrated an offense that finished in the top 10 nationally for total offense in three of his four seasons, including leading the nation in 2020-21 at 552.3 yards per game. His teams finished in the top five in scoring both of his final two seasons, third in 2020-21 (42.0 ppg) and fifth in 2021 at 39.5 ppg.
In 2021, Morris guided the Cardinals to the Southland Conference title, reached the NCAA FCS Second Round, and finished with a 10-3 record, the winningest record in program history. Morris mentored longtime pupil Ward, who finished the season garnering Stats Perform FCS All-America Second Team honors as well as being named to the Hero Sports 2021 Sophomore All-American Team. Ward also received Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors after breaking UIW program records for most career passing touchdowns and career passing yards, Ward was also a finalist for the Walter Payton Award.
Morris also oversaw the development of wide receiver Taylor Grimes, who earned multiple All-American honors in 2021 and was named Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year after setting single-season records for receiving yards (1,145) and touchdown receptions (15).
Morris guided the Cardinals to one of the best turnarounds in the FCS, being named the 2018 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Regional Coach of the Year, the 2018 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, and an Eddie Robinson Award finalist. That season he guided UIW to a 6-4 regular season record, a conference championship and the program's first FCS Playoff appearance in his first season.
Prior to Incarnate Word, Morris spent five seasons (2013-17) as the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Texas Tech.  During that time, Morris helped the Red Raiders to three bowl games and guided one of the top offenses in the nation. From 2013-17, Texas Tech's offense scored over 30 points per game all five seasons, and all five years was ranked among the top 16 teams in total offense, including leading the nation in 2016 at 564.4 yards per game. The Tech offense was highlighted by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who Morris recruited and coached in Lubbock.
Morris, a native of Shallowater, Texas, returned to his roots in West Texas after spending the 2012 season as the inside receivers coach for former Tech head coach Mike Leach at Washington State.
Prior to Pullman, Morris spent two years at the University of Houston, first as an offensive graduate assistant in 2010 and then as the offensive quality control assistant in 2011.  Before joining the coaching profession, Morris played in the Canadian Football League in 2009.
Morris was a versatile, all-round player during his four seasons as a Red Raider wide receiver (2005-08). He was an All-Big 12 punt returner as a senior and was also a member of the 2007 Academic All-Big 12 first team.
Morris arrived at Tech following a stellar prep career at Shallowater High School where he was named the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal All-South Plains Super Team Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2003.
Morris received his bachelor's degree in communications studies from Texas Tech in 2008. He and his wife, Maggie, are parents to two sons, Nicholas and George.