RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Callum Morris, the winningest head coach in the history of the University of Rio Grande’s women’s soccer program, announced his resignation from the position in a Sunday morning meeting with his team.
Morris’ resignation, which is effective immediately, came just hours after the RedStorm snapped a three-game losing streak with a 1-0 Senior Night win over Carlow University at Evan E. Davis Field.
Morris, who recently stepped down from his position in the school’s Admissions Office to take a job closer to his home in the Columbus area, said the strain of trying to juggle his new job with his coaching duties – not to mention the travel – became too much.
“I knew this day would come at some point, I just didn’t think it would be so soon,” said Morris, who also is preparing for his wedding in May of 2016.
Assistant coach Craig Davies will assume the head coaching duties for the remainder of the season.
Morris, who had 22 goals and 18 assists as member of the Rio men’s program from 2005-08, was one of the youngest head coaches in the United States when he landed the position in 2011.
Last season, he was named the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the RedStorm to its second straight winning campaign – recording a program-record 12 wins – in addition to the KIAC regular season and tournament championships and a first-ever appearance in the NAIA National Tournament.
“Being involved with the program for the past seven years and being the head coach for the past five, I’ve seen the full swing – from where we started to reaching the national tournament last year,” said Morris, who leaves with a career record of 39-45. “It was nice to be able to build some consistency and some solidarity in the program. I thought was there was more structure within the program than there was when I got into it. We were able to bring better players each season than we did the year before because of the success we enjoyed.”
Rio Grande athletic director Jeff Lanham agreed that Morris leaves the program in better shape than how he inherited it.
“Coach Morris has been a part of the Rio family as a player, graduate assistant, head coach and admission representative,” Lanham said. “The women’s soccer program has developed into a strong program because of Cal’s leadership. His knowledge of the game of soccer will be hard to replace and he will be missed. We wish him the best with his new endeavors.”
Morris, a native of Middlesbrough, England, who came to the United States at the age of 17, recognized those who were there for him on a daily basis as he got his feet wet in the coaching ranks.
“More than anyone else, I have to thank (URG men’s soccer head coach) Scott Morrissey. I went to him every day with questions when I first took over the program and still did up until Saturday,” he said. “Tony Daniels, Scott’s assistant and my old coach, was someone I could – and did – go to, as well. I thank my assistant coaches, particularly Peter Masters and Craig Davies, for all of their help. And I can’t forget Chris Skarratt, who was here when we first started. We learned a lot from each other and he’s gone on to be a great high school coach at Jackson. Some of the wins we had, the places we visited – those memories will last a lifetime.”
“Hopefully, whomever comes into the program can surpass my success and can be there for a number of years and take the program to another level,” added Morris. “I hope the players continue to work hard at getting better. I’m going to miss it.”
The RedStorm have two games remaining on their regular season schedule – at Brescia University on Thursday night and at Midway University on Saturday afternoon. KIAC tournament play begins November 7.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.