Abilene Christian College - Prickly Pear Yearbook (Abilene, TX)

 - Class of 1983

Page 120 of 424

 

Abilene Christian College - Prickly Pear Yearbook (Abilene, TX) online yearbook collection, 1983 Edition, Page 120
Page 120



Text from page 120:


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. 'vm-o,.,..t,.. The 168 Gnd af A. B. Morris-to r Many students knew him only as "Coach," the quiet, 1 small-framed man who worked in Zellner Hall and always said hello as he passed them on the sidewalk. A few knew him as A. B. Morris, the long-time ACU coach who went about his business of raising - yt gs' . ff 5 funds and promoting goodwill for ACU. What r 5,ef left' , TB most students didn't realize, however, was that A. gf? g B B. Morris was a giant among men on campus. g . ' Morris didn't simply coach for a long time at p ai:al'?'5vf-A g ACU, he built the athletic program, developing, , ,,.- Q Bmw' -Eff. yi" B is AQ coaching, planning, recruiting and raising funds i - ff, ' fm., -, 'B ' g frdomghe day he arrived in 1924 until his death on B g 41' ..,. If 1 ay - . 'Q 1 1 i r When Coach Morris arrived the school had only B A B 1 5 fs 4. three sports: football, basketball and baseball. Later 1 B A 5 S track was added and then golf and tennis. Morris X ,T 2' X X coached all six sports, taught physical education and S B f . ,lt . E it 2 served as athletic director and head of the physical fx, N' W' r"l "Tj SEX WNWMTT if education department. Br. 5 Coach Morris, who was nicknamed "Bugs" by his fr B X txt E3 brother, Don H. Morris, former ACU president, attended ii K Texas A8cM University. There he lettered in football four W --'XM times and, as quarterback, led the Aggies to the Southwest ip Conference title and a victory in the Dixie Classic, now known X X V as the Cotton Bowl. He also lettered in baseball three times, A Q .. 5 , K leading ASLM to the SWC title. All of that helped earn QB ' Jmmwyvfl him a spot in 1976 in the A8zM Hall of Fame. ' Coach Morris led the Wildcat football team until 7,4 1941 when he turned the reigns over to Tonto ff Coleman to spend his time as basketball coach X. and athletic director. X X Big p K Wildcat basketball had some of its A NX I brightest days under Coach Morris, . 'fx i He led the Cats to a 306-243 win- 5 W XX ,R Q -Lfelff. loss record, including a 178-64 0113-L, X B , 1 1 Q gf-M" l record in the Texas Conference. Under ' . KX Coach's leadership, the Cats won six conference titles and at one point went X Ks. 5 f gg three straight years without losing a game. After compiling that record, he BBQ x , B dsx y became full-time athletic director in 1955. t ii . Coach Morris helped build an athletic program that produced Olympic gold - 1 E BNN an medalists, world records, conference and national championships, All-America ' , i players and professional all-stars. He was praised and admired for more than his Q r athletic skills, though. ii: - Dr. Gary D. McCaleb, vice president and dean of campus life, worked with Coach BX B Q and knew well the receptivity Coach had with former ACU athletes. "About everyone i jrfii . ,, Coach called would send money to the school just because they admired Coach so much," XXX Y ' ,.-' . L he said. f ' ' .-ef! Much ofthat admiration seemed to come from the encouragement Coach gave. Wally l A i . .. K Bullington, athletic director, said, "I remember he was always encouraging. Even when your , '. ,T team might not have performed as well as it should, he would find the good things to talk about," McCaleb said Coach "really personified what ACU is all about - people who care enough about others to know them personally and their parents and relatives." 'V Q3 5 in iii Dr.john C. Stevens, chancellor of ACU, knew Morris from his days as a student in the dorm ,BLBA Morris supervised. "He knew all of the residents by name and where they were from, which is the best way to run a dormitory," said Dr. Stevens. "Everybody liked Coach . . .g', Stevens also praised Coach because "I never heard him speak evil of anybody. I don't think he 'TQ thought in those terms." Coach encouraged people regardless of who they were or what roles they i"Ejt:ff'i ffmf 2' served in, Stevens said. '.--.ft Q Although Coach's athletic record was tremendous, perhaps it was those personal qualities that caused people to admire him so. He wanted to see people succeed. He spanned many generations of ACU graduates, always keeping up with the students' personal lives. He gave people his undivided attention and made steps for them to follow. In doing so, he unknowingly created a legend. - Charles L. Pullen 116 f A. B. Morris

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