Morgan tabbed new PAM football coach

Published 12:47 pm Friday, March 23, 2018

By Lorenzo Salinas

Port Arthur News


Port Arthur’s Memorial High School has a new member to join its faculty and family.

Brian Morgan was named head football coach and athletic director for Memorial at the Thursday meeting of the Port Arthur Independent School District board of trustees.

The vote was 5-2.

It ended a screening process that started in February and concluded with hourlong interviews with the final candidates. For most members of the board, including the superintendent, Morgan was the right candidate.

“He did an outstanding job during the interview,” Superintendent Mark Porterie said. “He showed he has a plan for our football teams, from elementary to secondary.”

Porterie also highlighted Morgan’s hometown connection to Port Arthur, with Morgan being a Thomas Jefferson graduate among other things.

“We’re looking at a hometown individual who knows the landscape and the lay of the land,” board president Donald Frank Sr. said.

Frank said Morgan knows what it’s like to be from Port Arthur, including having that kind of care for the city.

“The process that Dr. Porterie put in place was one we could depend on,” Frank said. “It was one that was trustworthy.”

Part of Porterie’s decision-making process apparently involved conferring with those whom Morgan would actually be coaching — some of Memorial’s football players.

“I had a chance to speak with the students, with 15 of our players…” Porterie said. “I asked them what did they want out of a coach, out of football.”

Porterie said the talk went well but also somewhat surprising.

“The students said ‘We want someone strict, someone strong. We don’t want them scared of us. We want someone who can talk with us one on one.’”

Porterie commended those players he spoke with, citing the level of intelligence and discipline they displayed in describing their ideal coach figure.

“They said, ‘We need someone who can tell us when we’re right and when we’re wrong. We want them to be so strict we don’t smile until they smile,’” Porterie said. “I thought, ‘Wow. Our students are brighter than we give them credit for.’”

Porterie himself recommended Brian Morgan for the position. Five of the seven trustees approved the recommendation; Kenneth Lofton Sr. and Brandon Bartie voted against it.

Both trustees declined comment with Bartie deferring comment to Frank.