After starting his coaching career at the high school level in the state of Texas, a position he held for 16 years before landing the offensive coorindator job at Tulsa in 2010, Chad Morris understands better than most the importance of embracing high school coaches.

Taking that into consideration, it’s no surprise Morris mentioned his affinity for high school coaches and what he plans to offer each and every one of them in the state of Arkansas during his first press conference in Fayetteville after being hired.

During his first practice as Razorbacks coach Thursday, Morris proved those weren’t just hollow words, as over two dozen high school coaches were in attendance.

Following the practice, Morris was asked to share why he embraces having high school coaches at his practices (he estimated there were 30-35 in attendance).

“Being a high school coach, when I would go to college campuses, I wanted to feel welcome. I wanted to feel I was important, that my staff was important. I wanted to feel I had access and I want to get something out of it,” Morris said. “So that’s very important to me. We mention that, even to our players.”

The Arkansas coach says he even allows the high school coaches to ask questions regarding the practices at certain times.

“We have high school coaches that can drift in and out of drills,” Morris continued. “They can ask some of our players questions if they didn’t understand what the drill was and a young man is standing there getting a drink of water and a high school coach wants to ask him a question, feel free.

“If we need them to get out of the way, we’ll tell them to get out of the way. Otherwise, get right up in it, listen to it. Watch how we are coaching.”

Of course, there’s value for the high school coaches for attending the practices but according to Morris, it goes both ways eventually.

“If we are so fortunate to coach one of their players, they want to make sure they send them to a place where they are being coached well, that they are being treated right and so watch us,” the Arkansas coach added. “You’re watching us, just trying to learn some football but also maybe trying to learn some things that could maybe help you sell the University of Arkansas to some of your players. And that’s what it’s about.

“It’s very important to me that we take care of our high school coaches and they are always welcome here.”

His willingness to host high school coaches is likely to pay off in a big way for the Razorbacks down the line. The relationship building going on at Arkansas on and off the field should pay immediate dividends on the recruiting trail, but not only for players but potentially for a coach looking to move up to the collegiate level. After all, had Morris not been given his first college opportunity at Tulsa, he could very well still be coaching high school football in Texas.