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BREAKING NEWS: Coach Shannon Morrison Leaves to Join Marshall Staff

Breaking News: Defensive coordinator Shannon Morrison has left Lehigh to coach linebackers at his alma mater, Marshall University. This means Lehigh will be starting the 2005 season with their 3rd defensive coordinator in 3 years. Tom Gilmore left after the 2003 season to take Holy Cross' head coaching position, bringing secondary coach Issac Collins (now at Delaware) with him. Lehigh may also be looking for a linebackers' coach, as coach Morrison held that position as well.

How did this happen? Marshall University appears to have cleaned house regarding their coaches pending their entry into Conference USA in football. To that end, they brought in a new head coach, Mark Snyder. Morrison was one of the sought-after names that Snyder wanted to sign to fill out his staff. Given an opportunity to return to the I-A program where he played as an undergraduate, I'm guessing, was too good an opportunity for coach Morrison to pass up.

It will be interesting to see who will fill Morrison's shoes. As Lehigh has become a nationally recognized I-AA school, annually there has been lots of turnover on the coaching staff, so at some level I've come to expect it. However, as a Lehigh fan I am not looking forward to seeing my 3rd new defense in 3 years. I was very much looking forward to the players becoming more comfortable in Year 2 under Morrison, and now when camp opens there will one more new name running the defense. I'm eager to see who that guy will be.

Official Release from Marshall University
Herald-Dispatch: Snyder Closing in on Staff Decisions

New coaching faces include a familiar one in Shannon Morrison. The former Thundering Herd defensive back (1991-94) most recently served as defensive coordinator at NCAA Division I-AA power Lehigh.

Shannon Morrison returns to Marshall as the linebackers coach. The four-time (1991-94) letterwinner in Marshall's secondary was an all-Southern Conference and honorable mention all-America selection in 1994 and is still sixth on the school's all-time interceptions list with 11. Morrison, who served as a graduate assistant coach at Marshall following his graduation (1995), spent last season as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Lehigh after three seasons as defensive coordinator at Southeast Missouri State University.

Coach Snyder on Shannon Morrison: "Shannon Morrison played for Mark Gale and now takes over Mark's coaching position on the field. I think it's important to bring back people who did great things here at Marshall. He's a native West Virginian who went out and made a name for himself as a young coach on the rise and we're excited to bring him back."


ngineer said…
It's the price we pay for having a top rate program. Lehigh attracts people who are achievers--some would say over-achievers, and therefore when opportunities come along for 'climbing the ladder' into the 'big time' those looking for that as an ultimate goal will grab it. I expect the senior leadership will help in a smooth transition.

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