DENTON, Texas (AP)North Texas hired Eric Morris as its football coach Tuesday, bringing in a former small college coach in Texas who spent the past season as offensive coordinator at Washington State.

Morris previously spent four seasons as head coach at Incarnate Word in San Antonio, guiding that program to the FCS playoffs in 2021.

Before taking over Incarnate Word, Morris was offensive coordinator under Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech for five seasons.

Morris, a West Texas native who played receiver at Texas Tech and in the Canadian Football League, recruited and coached Super Bowl-winning Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes.

The 37-year-old Morris replaces Seth Littrell, who was fired with a 44-44 record over seven seasons. North Texas reached the Conference USA championship game this season, losing to UTSA.

”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,” interim athletic director Jared Mosley said. ”As a Texas native, he has deep relationships across the state.”

Morris just finished his second stint at Washington State. He was a receivers coach under the late Mike Leach with the Cougars in 2012.

Quarterback Cameron Ward followed Morris to Washington State from Incarnate Word and threw for 3,094 yards with 23 touchdowns and five rushing TDs. He completed 64% of his passes.

”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,” Morris said.

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