A week removed from a 3-7 season, Scott Morrison was fired as head football coach of Damien High School on Friday. Morrison, a Damien graduate, guided his teams to two Sierra League championships and four playoff appearances in six seasons. Given those accomplishments, Morrison was surprised to be relieved of his duties.
“The administration stepped in because we didn’t have a successful enough season,” Morrison said. “It’s a tough place. You gotta win, and we didn’t win this year. We went to the playoffs three years in a row and won two league championships, but apparently that doesn’t earn you any wiggle room.”
Damien is forming a search committee to find its next coach, but doesn’t have a timetable. “We feel that this is the right time for us to go in a different direction,” Damien athletic director Tom Carroll said. “Scott will always be a part of the Damien family.”
Morrison, who is uncertain whether he will continue his teaching job at Damien, acknowledged feeling tension as the Spartans lost seven of their first eight games this season.
“I never heard anything directly, but you always hear plenty indirectly,” he said. “You kind of have a feeling just like when any relationship gets strained. It’s unfortunate because I love this place and I love these players.”
Morrison was the head coach for five years at Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield, Calif., before returning in 2003 to Damien, where he helped the football team win a CIF-Southern Section championship in 1982. Morrison has coached in some capacity for 22 years – all at private schools. He finished his career at Damien with a 32-33-1 record.
Damien’s 2008 nonleague schedule was likely its most difficult during Morrison’s tenure. When the Spartans entered league play at 1-4, their four losses were to opponents who had a single loss between them.
“There was plenty of negativity swirling around about our ability to win games,” Morrison said. “Sometimes it has a negative impact on the kids and how they view the team.”