Allen football

Allen's football team went 10-1 last season and advanced to the regional semifinals.

Two weeks after Terry Gambill announced his retirement from coaching, Allen has made the next hire to lead its football program.

On Wednesday, Allen ISD announced Chad Morris as the Eagles’ next head football coach. Morris returns to the high school gridiron after an extensive career coaching at the collegiate level. Most recently, Morris was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Auburn — a move that followed head coaching stints at both SMU and Arkansas. Morris also helmed the offense at both Clemson and Tulsa.

Morris last coached at the high school level in 2009, capping a 16-year run where he totaled a 169-38 record. That included three UIL state championships and six title game appearances, including consecutive back-to-back 16-0 seasons at Austin Lake Travis in 2008 and 2009.

“I am honored to join Allen ISD and the Allen Eagles football program,” Morris said in a press release. “Allen High School is known throughout the state and nation for having a storied tradition of excellence in everything it does, and the football team is certainly included in that discussion. My roots run deep in Texas high school football, and I’m excited for the opportunity to get back to coaching young student-athletes and making an impression on their lives. 

“As a coach, I’ll expect our students to work hard, but I want them to know that I care about their overall development as leaders both on and off the field. It’s my goal to establish a culture that can impact our student athletes in a positive way, and I believe that will allow us to compete for championships on a consistent basis.”

Morris takes over for Gambill, who announced his retirement on March 16 after five seasons leading Allen. Two days later, AISD announced the retirement of longtime athletic director Steve Williams, who will remain at his post through the end of the school year.

Gambill led the Eagles to a 65-4 record over five seasons and a UIL Class 6A Division I state championship in 2017. Last year, Allen went 10-1 and advanced to the regional semifinals where it dropped a 49-45 decision to Euless Trinity.

Under Gambill, Allen didn’t lose a game in the regular season and advanced to the state semifinals two other times. Those reins will be now be turned over to Morris, who was named coach of the year 11 times across his high school coaching career in addition to earning national assistant coach of the year honors from the American Football Coaches Association in 2013.

Per AISD, Morris will begin working in the school district immediately.

“Coach Morris has proven himself time and again as an accomplished coach and respected leader, and he has reached high levels of success at both the high school and college ranks,” Williams said. “Coach Morris will do everything he can to best support our students and coaching staff. He brings a national network of college coaching contacts, and hopefully this will result in even more resources and opportunities for our student-athletes.”

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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