Morgan steps down as Titans head football coach

McDowell head coach Andy Morgan (left) and Dr. Adam Kinninger assist player Luke Bright off the field after an injury during a game last season. Morgan is leaving after three years as head coach at McDowell to take an assistant coaching position at A.C. Reynolds. Josh Davis/blueridgesportsphotography.com

The McDowell Titans football program will enter the summer looking for a new head coach.

Third-year coach Andy Morgan resigned this week and will take an assistant coaching position at A.C. Reynolds High School in Asheville.

McDowell Principal Edwin Spivey said the school has already begun looking for a replacement and added time is short since spring practices are already underway and summer workouts are looming.

“We have already posted the job and we want to interview as soon as we can,” said Spivey. “It’s important to get somebody in there quickly. We value football and we want to have a good team, and while it will be a very quick search, we hope to bring in the right people.”

Morgan took over as a first-year head coach three years ago after Carson Gowan resigned, and posted an 11-24 record. The Titans went 5-15 in conference play, including a combined 3-11 in their first two seasons as part of the revamped Northwestern 3A/4A Conference. McDowell was 4-8 last season and advanced to the State 4A Playoffs.

Morgan said he’ll miss the Titan players and assistant coaches.

“Our assistants worked their rear ends off,” said Morgan. “They’re a great group of hard-working guys and I’m going to miss them and I wish them all the best.

“I’m going to miss the kids. They’re some of the hardest working kids I’ve ever coached in the weight room. They did everything I asked. They rarely got a day off in the spring and turnout at summer workouts was great. You can’t ask for more.”

Spivey said longtime assistant Keith Styles would act as interim head coach to help get the Titans through the spring, but added Styles has no interest in becoming the next head coach. Spivey said he does not expect any of the current assistants to leave the program.

Spivey did not mention any potential candidates by name, but said the school has contacted some current coaches connected with the program.

“Since time is of the essence, we wanted to make some calls as quickly as we could to gauge the interest of former players in the coaching industry,” said Spivey. “(Superintendent) Mr. Garrett is helping and we want to bring in the right people.”

Spivey said the school hopes to bring in one or two assistants in addition to a new head coach.

“Andy was short-staffed last year,” said Spivey. “We’ve got openings for teachers, and we hope to add one or two additional coaches. The goal for us is to bring in more than one.”

Morgan said he appreciated the chance to work for McDowell County Schools. During his tenure, the school installed a new artificial turf field and rubberized track, the most dramatic improvements to the facility since it was constructed in the early 1970s.

“I appreciated Mr. Spivey and all the administration, and Mr. Garrett,” said Morgan. “They all tried to do things for the program. The field meant a lot to the kids and coaching staff. They (the program) just need to continue to build.”

 

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