Guy W. Morriss (born May 13, 1951) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the offensive line coach at Lexington Christian Academy in Lexington, Kentucky. Before joining Lexington Christian, he was a special assistant to the athletic director at Texas A&M University–Commerce, where he was also the head football coach from 2009 to 2012. Morriss also served as the head football coach at the University of Kentucky for two seasons (2001–2002) and at Baylor University for five seasons (2003–2007). He played college football at Texas Christian University (TCU) and spent 15 seasons as an offensive lineman in National Football League (NFL) with the Philadelphia Eagles (1973–1983) and the New England Patriots (1984–1987). Morriss played in over 200 regular season games during his NFL career and started at center for the Eagles in Super Bowl XV.
|Born||May 13, 1951|
Colorado City, Texas
|1984–1987||New England Patriots|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1988–1989||New England Patriots (OL)|
|1991||Mansfield HS (TX) (OC)|
|1992–1993||Valdosta State (OL)|
|1994||Arizona Cardinals (OL)|
|1995||San Antonio Texans (OL)|
|1996||Mississippi State (OL)|
|2008||Kentucky State (OL)|
|2014||Warren Central HS (KY) (OL)|
|2015||Lexington Christian Academy (KY) (OL)|
|Head coaching record|
Early years and playing careerEdit
Morriss was born in Colorado City, Texas. Morriss's father was a graduate of Texas A&M University–Commerce, where Morriss later became head football coach. For high school, he attended Sam Houston High School in Arlington, Texas where he was a standout lineman and earned a scholarship to Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated from TCU in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in secondary education. A second round selection in the 1973 NFL draft, he was a Pro Bowl center in the National Football League (NFL), where he played with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1973 to 1983, and the New England Patriots from 1984 to 1987.
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Morriss got his coaching start in 1988 as the offensive line coach for the Patriots under Raymond Berry. In 1992, after a brief stint as the head coach of the Washington Marauders of the Professional Spring Football League, Morriss coached at Valdosta State University under Hal Mumme, the father of the modern air raid offense, and alongside Mike Leach. He later re-joined Mumme and Leach in 1997 at Kentucky, where he was offensive line and assistant head coach. Morriss was given national recognition for his pass blocking schemes that helped turn Kentucky's offense into one of the best in the nation.
After a recruiting scandal forced the resignation of Mumme at Kentucky, Morriss was named the school's interim head coach in 2001. After a 2–9 season, Kentucky named Morriss the school's permanent head coach, where he led the Wildcats to a 7–5 turnaround season in 2002.
Guy Morriss was the losing coach in the famed "Bluegrass Miracle" game at Commonwealth Stadium in 2002. Morriss's Kentucky Wildcats kicked a field goal to take the lead over LSU with 11 seconds left, only to lose on an 80-yard Hail Mary pass as time expired. Seconds before the Hail Mary, Morriss was doused with Gatorade by quarterback Jared Lorenzen in (what turned out to be) a premature "victory bath."
Morriss took over a Baylor program that had hit the skids. The Bears hadn't had a winning season since 1995, and had posted only one conference victory in its previous 36 Big 12 contests. Morriss's first season in 2003 (3–9) was rough but was highlighted by an upset win over Colorado (CU was a 20-point favorite). Morriss's second season in 2004 again only led to three wins and one conference win, but Morriss gained fan and alumni support with the team's 35–34 overtime upset win over #16 Texas A&M (a 25-point favorite), in which Morriss made a gutsy call to "go for two" to win in the first overtime, instead of kicking the extra point and forcing a second overtime. It was BU's first win over the Aggies since 1985 (they tied in 1990). Morriss's third season in 2005 produced a 5–6 record (BU's best since 1995) and featured BU's first ever road win over a Big 12 Conference opponent, a 23–13 victory over Iowa State in Ames.
In 2006, the fourth year of the Morriss era, BU had a roller coaster season. After a disappointing 1–3 non-conference mark (including a loss at home to Army), BU rebounded with a 3–1 start in conference play. However, the momentum was stunted when quarterback Shawn Bell was injured in a loss to Texas A&M, and Baylor was subsequently blown out in their final three games by an average margin of 34 points, finishing the year at 4–8 (3–5 in the Big 12).
In 2007, Morriss failed again to produce a winning record for the Bears, as Baylor finished with a 3–9 record. The loss of a significant number of seniors, including Bell, was part of the blame for the poor season. In the season opener, Baylor was shut out by TCU, 27–0, but managed to win the next three non-conference games. Afterwards, Baylor did not defeat any of its Big 12 opponents, their last defeat being the 12th consecutive loss in Big 12 play.
In March 2008, Morriss accepted a job as a position coach at Kentucky State University. Morriss was the first person with coaching experience in a BCS conference to go to work in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (a division II league consisting of historically black colleges and universities).
In December 2008, Scott Conley was removed as head coach of the Texas A&M–Commerce Lions football program after a 24–27 record in five seasons. On January 7, 2009, Morriss was offered the job to succeed Conley by athletic director Carlton Cooper and university president Daniel Jones.
Morriss's tenure at Texas A&M–Commerce began with five losses, before the Lions reeled off five straight wins, finishing 5–5 overall with a 5–0 record in their division, winning the North Division of the Lone Star Conference outright. That gave Texas A&M–Commerce its first division title since 2007 and its first outright title of any kind since 1990. Morriss also introduced the idea of wearing throwback jerseys that had the moniker "EAST TEXAS" on the front, as homage to the schools previous name, East Texas State University.
After Morriss's first season, players from his football team coordinated an effort to illegally remove all copies of a student newspaper from campus because it contained an unfavorable article about a teammate who had been arrested on drug charges. Morriss said that he was "proud" of his players for taking the newspapers. He also referred to the theft as "the best team building exercise we have ever done." Morriss was subsequently disciplined by the school administration over the incident.
The 2010 season started with much excitement as a massive renovation to Memorial Stadium in Commerce was completed that added 3,500 seats to the east side of the stadium, a second press box, a new scoreboard with a video jumbotron, and new locker rooms. The Lions christened their newly renovated stadium by routing Upper Iowa, 33–10, giving Morriss six straight wins as head coach. However, the Lions only won two more games the rest of the season and finished with a disappointing 3–8 season. The 2011 season only produced one win, a 60–28 win over Eastern New Mexico, and the Lions finished 1–9. 2012 produced an identical record of 1–9, the lone victory coming over long time rival Texas A&M–Kingsville, 21–14 in overtime.
On November 12, 2012, after leading the A&M–Commerce football program for four seasons, Morriss stepped down as head football coach. He stayed on at A&M–Commerce as special assistant to the athletic director. His duties included fundraising, teaching, and oversight of athletic facilities and special projects.
Morriss resides in Lexington, Kentucky and is married to Jackie Morriss. They are the parents of five daughters: Melanie, Colleen, Kerry, Savannah and Austin. The couple also has five grandchildren. Despite now living in Kentucky again, he is known to be proud of his Texas heritage. His first comment to the press when accepting the Baylor job was yelling "It's good to be back in the Lone Star." Baylor even put that phrase on their pocket schedules for 2003. Also, Morriss told FOX Sports that when his future wife asked him what nationality he was, he replied "I'm a Texan." In 2012, Morriss graduated from the Texas A&M-Commerce graduate school with a master's degree and received his diploma with a rousing ovation. In 2017 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Head coaching recordEdit
|Kentucky Wildcats (Southeastern Conference) (2001–2002)|
|Baylor Bears (Big 12 Conference) (2003–2007)|
|Texas A&M–Commerce Lions (Lone Star Conference) (2009–2012)|
|2009||Texas A&M–Commerce||5–5||5–4 / 5–0||T–6th / 1st (North)|
|2010||Texas A&M–Commerce||3–8||2–8 / 2–4||T–13th / T–5th (North)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
- "Morriss Will Not Return as Football Coach" (Press release). Baylor Athleticsdate=November 18, 2007. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
- "Art Briles Named Baylor's 25th Head Football Coach" (Press release). Baylor Athletics. November 28, 2007. Retrieved November 30, 2007.
- "Kentucky State hires Guy Morriss". WKYT. March 17, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
- "Morriss announced as football coach at A&M-Commerce".[permanent dead link]
- "Morriss backs 'team building exercise'". ESPN.com. March 4, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- "Morriss Stepping Down as A&M-Commerce Head Coach". Herald-Banner. November 12, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2012.