The Fairbanks High School boys golf team began preseason practice on Thursday with a new coach with a familiar name.
Eli Morris has taken over the program as long-time coach Scott Coon decided to step away.
It is Morris’ first head coaching job, but not his first position in that field.
For the past four years, Morris, who is a computer science teacher at Bunsold Middle School, coached in the Marysville girls golf program.
He coached at Bunsold for one year and then spent the next three years as the Lady Monarch junior varsity coach.
Morris is following in the footsteps of his father, Larry, who was the Panther boys links coach for 15 years.
The elder Morris guided FHS to 12 conference championships and several district tournament berths.
“I’ve always wanted to be a head coach,” said Morris, who also spent some time as an assistant coach for the Monarch boys basketball program. “Fairbanks is my alma mater, it’s a position I’ve always been interested in and Dad is the athletic director.
“I had a lot of things tugging at me when the opportunity presented itself.”
Morris played golf and basketball at Fairbanks and had his father as the coach.
“Dad also coached me for one year in track and field,” laughed Morris. “I just couldn’t get away.”
Morris said his years coaching in the Marysville girls golf program helped prepare him for future coaching opportunities.
He also learned the “ins and outs” of running a program as he recently completed his second season as one of the co-directors for the Union County Junior Golf Academy-Tour.
The summer program is one that was co-founded and operated by his father for its first 15 seasons.
Morris will have a team led by a trio of returning lettermen as the 2019 season begins next week.
Travis Brake, Seth Payne and Andrew Crowe are those lettermen whom Morris hopes lead the Panthers to success.
“Our goals this year won’t be any different than they’ve been for a number of years,” he said. “We want to win a conference championship and do well at the Division III district tournament.
“If we do that, we can hopefully give ourselves an opportunity to qualify for the state tournament.”
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