AUBURN — Auburn’s offense will have a new play-caller in 2020.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has said that new offensive coordinator Chad Morris will be calling plays for the Auburn offense in 2020, according to reporters in Mobile who spoke with Malzahn on Tuesday at the Senior Bowl.
“We’re going to turn him loose,” Malzahn was quoted as saying.
“We finally get the chance to coach with each other, and I’m excited that he’s going to be in charge of our offense,” he also said.
Morris joined Auburn’s staff in December, making a dream team-up come true for the two coaches who are good friends off the field. Now Malzahn is showing how much faith he has in Morris to the run the show for Auburn’s offense.
“I trust him 110-percent,” Malzahn also said to reporters, while visiting the opening practice for the all-star game.
Auburn’s Marlon Davidson is set to play in the game on Saturday. Prince Tega Wanogho has been scratched from the game due to swelling in his knee.
Morris ran a prolific, record-setting offense at Clemson from 2011-14 before his performance there vaulted him into head coaching positions at SMU and then Arkansas.
Malzahn called plays for the Auburn offense again in 2019, after the departure of former offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey. Malzahn called plays for Auburn in each of his first three seasons as Auburn’s head coach, then gave up the play-calling during the 2016 season to then-offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. He then brought in an experience play-caller in Lindsey to run the offense for the next two seasons.
It was after Lindsey’s departure that Malzahn got back into play-calling and hired up-and-comer coordinator Kenny Dillingham to assist him, plucking him away from Mike Norvell at Memphis. In December, Dillingham jumped to Florida State with Norvell, paving the way for Morris to land at Auburn.
Morris spent bowl practices in more of a role of observing Auburn’s offense and getting acclimated to the Tigers’ system while getting to know the players. Malzahn said he and Morris would decide after the bowl how the tag team would attack play-calling in 2020. Either way, Malzahn insisted from the beginning that Morris would have great influence on Auburn’s offense.
Now, Malzahn has made it clear that Morris has the reins.
Spring practice is set to open in March ahead of the A-Day scrimmage scheduled for April 11.