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Results tagged “Terry Morris” from College Sports Blog

VC's turnaround has familiarity for Morris

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This isn't the first time a football coach has arrived at Ventura College and, inside three seasons, has the Pirates playing for the Southern California title.

Terry Morris arrived in 1996 with a disciplined, military upbringing and defensive background culled from his playing days at Texas-El Paso.

VC went from 1-9 in 1997 to 9-2 in 1998. In his third season as head coach, in 1999, the Pirates won nine games again and faced Hancock in the Southern California championship game at Nordhoff High.

"I think of how hard Travis Rogers always ran for us," Morris said. "I think of (fullback) Russell Farrar out in front. I think of how we had such a great, local offensive line that probably was undersized in a few positions that played their hearts out.

"It's about character. We were a take-your-lunch-pail to work team."

Thirteen years later, under third-year head coach Steve Mooshagian, the first 10-0 team in school history hosts a Southern California semifinals Saturday night.

The similarities are obvious to Morris.

"They bought in," Morris said. "That's one of the biggest things that we've got going on this year. The youngsters have bought into the package and the coaches that we have here. That's where I see similarities. The same character is out there."

Morris is the second-winningest head coach in school history, going 50-42 in nine seasons before being removed as head coach after the 2005 season.

He had settled into his second act at VC as the chair of the physical education department when Mooshagian drafted him back into the team after his first season.

"I'm very thankful for coach Mooshagian to look me up and ask me to come back and be a part of this staff," Morris said. "A lot of coaches won't do that when there's ex-coaches on the campus, but coach is trying to put the best product on the field. ... I'm having the time of my life again."

Mooshagian gives high marks to his second-year secondary coach.

"I'm a coach's kid," Mooshagian said. "I understand what it's like to be a head coach and have to go back and be an assistant. ... It's not an easy thing to do. You have to respect that. He's gotten back into it and he's done a great job since he's been back. His role has increased."

Morris has coached a secondary that is third in SoCal with 19 interceptions. Cornerbacks Drek Reid and Jordan Howard are both in the top 6 in the region in pass breakups. Safeties Lakeith Murray, Scotty Wong, Matt Arve and Melvin Tavares have all made game-winning plays to extend the winning streak. Reserves like Jalen Oats and Brandon Lockwood make the secondary the team's deepest position.

"It's one of the strongest positions on our team," Mooshagian said. "Terry's been a great teacher for our secondary guys. He's been through it, so he has a calming effect on the defense ... not just on the secondary, but the defense as a whole."

The "Braintrust"

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The defense that is in the top 5 in SoCal in points allowed (21.1), Top 10 in total defense (367.1 yards per game) and has allowed all but one opponent under their season scoring average is the product of an interesting coaching dynamic.

"It's a perfect blend of youth and experience," Ventura coach Steve Mooshagian said. "I will express myself when I need to, but I leave those guys alone. ... You've got to let them coach."

First-year coordinator Tyson Butler manages veteran position coaches Ted Lawrence (defensive line), Gary Anglin (linebackers) and Morris (secondary), who combine for more than a half-century of VC experience.

"It works for us," Morris said. "Coach Butler brings such an amped-up attitude. He tweaks things right and left that makes things even better. He brings a new view to it. ... He's going to become a great coordinator."

Veteran coaches return to VC, MC staffs

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A few new, albeit familiar faces were on the fields Thursday when fall practice kicked off for the county's two community college football programs.

Entering his second year at the helm, Ventura College head coach Steve Mooshagian has added former Ventura head coach Terry Morris to his staff

The Pirates were 50-42 from 1997 to 2005 under Morris, the second-winningest coach in school history.

Morris goes directly to his area of on-field expertise, the secondary, to coach cornerbacks. Also the chair of the physical education department, Morris will also become the program's academic and placement coordinator

"He'll take that load off of me," said Mooshagian. "Although I'm going to still be involved, there are sometimes when I'm tied up. Now there's someone else to go to."

Morris' return gives the program three full-time coaches on campus with Mooshagian, Morris and assistant coach Gary Anglin.

"That's a plus," said Mooshagian.

Moorpark College has also welcomed back a long-time former football coach in Will Thurston, who served head coach Jim Bittner for 22 seasons from 1979 to 1999.

Former Raiders receiver and coach Curtis Marsh has also returned to the staff. His 250-yard performance against Ventura in 1991 still stands as the school record for receiving yards in a game.

"We have a good coaching staff," said Bittner. "They're working well. There's a lot of enthusiasm. We're excited about the season."

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Ventura County Star sports writer and columnist Joe Curley covers college sports and soccer for this Star. This is the place to click for local college football and basketball coverage, including USC, UCLA, Moorpark College, Ventura College and Cal Lutheran.

Curley will update from live events and also interject with periodic comment on both international soccer and the local Ventura County Fusion.