March 14, 2008
Samford has signed head women's basketball coach Mike Morris to a 10-year contract extension, director of athletics Bob Roller announced March 13.
Morris' 2007-08 squad posted a program-record 23 wins, going 23-9 and 15-5 in Ohio Valley Conference play. He also led the team to the semifinals of the OVC Tournament for the third year in a row.
Morris has been at Samford for 14 years, spending the first eight seasons as an assistant coach with the men's basketball team. Since taking over as head coach in 2002-03, Morris has improved the team's win total in five of his six seasons and set the program record for career wins with 92.
Over the last three seasons, Morris' teams have posted a record of 62-30, the best record over a three-year period in the program's history. Over that period, the Bulldogs have had three of the top four single-season records in the 11-year history of the program.
"I am very blessed and honored to work at Samford University, an institution with such high values and high standards, and one that strives for excellence in everything," Morris said. "For Samford to believe enough in our basketball program to want us around for at least another 10 years is extremely reassuring and humbling. Dr. Westmoreland and Bob Roller have created a great deal of excitement in athletics and I am grateful to be a small part of that and I want to thank them for their support."
"This is a great day for our program," Roller said. "Mike is an excellent coach who gets the very best out of his team. Our student-athletes respect him and play hard for him. That also carries over to his ability to enjoy such success on the recruiting trail. More importantly, Mike is the kind of person you want to come to work with every day and you know that he is always looking to improve Samford women's basketball."
"This long-term signing sends a clear signal that Samford is committed to a strong, national women's basketball program," Roller added. "Our team now looks to a new challenge as we move to the Southern Conference, and it is gratifying to know that Mike is here for the long term. I want to thank Dr. Westmoreland and Buck Brock (Samford Vice President for business affairs) for their hard work and efforts to make this day a reality."