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Richard Morgan brought more than a decade of NCAA coaching experience to the Bluefield College men’s basketball program upon his hire in 2009. Beyond his coaching experience, Morgan was a decorated collegiate player at the University of Virginia and a standout athlete at Salem High School – making his Virginian roots run even deeper. The Rams posted a 17-16 record during Morgan’s first year at the helm of the program. Bluefield went 11-5 in Appalachian Athletic Conference play to grab a share of the regular season title. Morgan’s guidance helped senior Omar Reed earn AAC Defensive Player of the Year, AAC Player of the Year and NAIA Third Team All-America honors. In each of his first three seasons, Morgan led the Rams to postseason play, both in the AAC and the National Christian College Athletic Association’s Mid-East Region. The Rams transitioned to the highly competitive Mid-South Conference for the 2012-13 season and concluded the year with eight wins. However, Bluefield dropped five games by five points or less, including a pair of overtime games. In the Rams’ first-ever MSC game, they knocked off No. 3 ranked Georgetown College, 96-89. 2013 also marked the end of BC standout Byron Carpenter’s career. Morgan brought the Virginia Beach, Va., native to Bluefield for a three-year career where the center tallied 1795 points – an average of 20.2 points per game. Carpenter earned second team All-AAC (2011), first team All-AAC (2012), AAC Player of the Year (2012) NAIA second team All-American (2012) and first team All Mid-South Conference (2013) honors during his career.
Morgan rejuvinated the Rams for the 2013-14 season, piecing together a team that went 16-13, including an 8-10 mark in MSC play. The eight wins earned BC the No. 7 seed in the MSC tournament, where the Rams nearly knocked off No. 2 seed and No. 16 ranked Georgetown College in the opening Round, but the Tigers pulled out the late 78-74 win.
BC also qualified for the NCCAA Mid-East Region Tournament, hosting the event as the No. 1 seed. The Rams defeated Hiwassee College in the opening round before falling to Union University (Tenn.) in the title game.
Morgan led seniors Kearsten Marion and Josh Nesbit to All Mid-South Conference and NCCAA All Mid-East Region honors. Marion was voted first team in both respects, while Nesbit claimed second team honors with both listings.
The 2014-15 season saw the Rams go 12-14, with an 8-10 mark in conference play as they returned to the Appalachian Athletic Conference. The Rams picked up a double overtime win over Point in the AAC tournament before being eliminated by eventual runner-up and No. 2 seed Milligan. Kyle Grisby concluded his career as a 1,000-point scorer, and earned both All-AAC and NCCAA All-Region honors.
Morgan joined the Bluefield athletics family after a three-year stint as an assistant coach at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. He helped the Mountaineers to a school record 25 wins and a National Invitational Tournament (NIT) appearance in 2007, in addition to back-to-back Southern Conference (SoCon) regular season championships (2006-07, 2007-08). Before his time with Appalachian State, Morgan served as an associate head coach at Hampton University for three years. Morgan helped the Pirates to consistently strong seasons in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships (MEAC), including a MEAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006. This was Morgan’s second stint with Hampton, as he served as an assistant from 1996-98. Prior to his Hampton return, Morgan spent five seasons (1999-2003) as an assistant at East Carolina University. Morgan pursued coaching after a successful career as a professional and collegiate player. As a three-year starter at Virginia, Morgan finished his career ranked sixth all-time in scoring with 1,540 points. He also ranked third at UVa in steals (160) and seventh in assists (279). He earned first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) honors and was named honorable mention All-America by The Sporting News after leading the Cavs to the Elite Eight in 1989. Following his graduation with a sports management degree, Morgan played basketball professionally for two seasons with the Rockford Lightning of the CBA and overseas with teams in Austria and the Philippines. He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Salem High School, where he helped lead the program to district, regional and state championships. He also served as a paraprofessional for special education programs. “This is a dream come true for me and my family,” Morgan stated when he joined the Rams. “I am very aware of the great tradition here at Bluefield College and I look forward to the challenge of continuing that success.” Morgan and his wife, Sherelle, have two sons, Nicholas and Kaleb.
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