Tim Morris Didn’t Know Craig Smith Long Before Being Hired As Runnin’ Utes Assistant

May 6, 2021, 11:18 AM
Craig Smith - Utah Utes...
New Utah head basketball coach Craig Smith (middle), his wife Darcy (left) and Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan (right). (Photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The newest addition to the Utah Runnin’ Utes coaching staff Tim Morris didn’t know Craig Smith long before getting hired to the staff.

Tim Morris comes to Salt Lake City and the Runnin’ Utes after two seasons with the Cincinnati Bearcats program. Normally when coaches get hired, they have a previous relationship with the head coach. That wasn’t the case for Morris and Craig Smith, who started their relationship about two months ago.

Morris joined the Crimson Corner podcast for a live stream on Wednesday to discuss how he got to Utah and much more.

“We had a little bit of a rough ending to our situation there (at Cincinnati),” Morris told KSL Sports. “I was named interim head coach and was going through the process of helping with the transition there and was interviewed for the head spot. During that time, Craig (Smith) and I had some mutual friends and we got to know each other a little bit and we saw eye-to-eye on a whole lot of stuff. It was just chemistry and how he saw the game, how he saw running the program. Some of my connections and ties out here, Midwest down south. We just decided to take the plunge. So had a few conversations and I had a few other options I was choosing between but it just the combination of Craig, his history, how he does things, the Utah program, the city, university. It was too good to pass up. So I decided to come back out west and be Runnin’ Ute.”

It’s not very often you see a coach get hired to a staff without having a long history with the program or the head coach. Morris just started getting to know Smith over the last two months and was hired on his staff. Now, Morris will be moving his family across the country to Salt Lake City.

“I started getting to know him a little bit over the last month and a half or so. So both of us talking to people and exploring some of those relationships, the background checking on each other just seemed like a natural fit,” said Morris. “It’s been a whirlwind being named interim head coach and then getting out here, moving out here, finding a place. My wife’s back home getting our place together. We have twins that will be four in June and one on the way. So it’s just been a whole whirlwind. I got to get back to Cincinnati at some point to figure everything out there and then we’ll be back here in June for good.”

Morris completes the coaching staff under Craig Smith heading into his first season leading the Utah basketball program. The other two assistants include Eric Peterson and DeMarlo Slocum.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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