November 25, 2014

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Wellington basketball coach steps down following birth of third daughter

WELLINGTON — Nathan Morris is a new dad and an ex-coach.

The job descriptions are related.

Morris, Wellington High School’s boys basketball coach the past two years, turned in his letter of resignation last week citing a need to spend more time with his growing family.

Morris

Morris

Morris, 34, and his wife, Angela, welcomed their third daughter, Fynlee, into the world Sunday. Taylor, 5, and Camryn, 3½, are their other daughters.

“The time it takes to coach and be a dad and a husband,” Morris said of why he decided to step down, “I was just spreading myself too thin.”

Morris, who took over for Tom Eibel in April 2009, went 23-21 in his two seasons. The Dukes went 13-8 overall his first season and won the Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division with a 10-3 mark.

Last season the Dukes were picked as league favorites but struggled, going 6-7 in the PAC and 10-13 overall. They caught fire in the postseason, however, capturing a sectional title before falling in the Division III district semifinals.

“We had a good finish to the season,” Morris said. “I told the guys this has nothing to do with them. I enjoyed coaching them and being around them. The timing with my family just wasn’t right.”

Morris, a math and algebra teacher at the high school, has been a basketball coach for the Dukes the past 12 years. He was a JV coach for three years, then served as varsity assistant the next seven before taking over as the main man.

“He’s going to be missed,” Wellington athletic director Jeff Jump said. “He’s a good guy and a good coach.”

As for the job, Jump said: “We’re going to post it and see what we get.”

He also said nothing official has been done since the school board won’t even act on the resignation until next week.
Morris knows he’s facing a big change, but it’s one he’s ready for.

“I’ve been playing or involved in organized basketball for 26 of the 34 years of my life,” said Morris, who played for Shelby High School and Bluffton College. “It’s definitely going to be different. But I’m also looking forward to spending more time with my girls.”

And he’s not giving up coaching cold turkey, either. This spring he’ll be coaching Taylor’s soccer team.

Some habits are tough to kick.

Contact Kevin Aprile at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.