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Morgan named Lamar head football coach

BEAUMONT, Texas – Former Air Force offensive coordinator and most recently San Diego State quarterbacks’ coach, Blane Morgan, has been named as Lamar University head coach announced LU Director of Athletics Marco Born Thursday afternoon. One of the top rising stars in football coaching, Morgan becomes the third Cardinals’ head coach since the program’s return to the field in 2010, and just the 10th since transitioning to four-year status.

“We are very excited to announce Blane Morgan as our next head coach,” said Born. “Blane has coached at the highest levels of college football and brings with him a wealth of experience. He is one of the top young coaches in the game and we’re honored to bring him and his family to Beaumont.

“Blane has helped produce some of the nation’s most explosive offenses both at Air Force and San Diego State and comes to us highly recommended. When we began this process there were several criteria that we wanted in our next head coach, and Blane meets all those expectations. I’m very excited about the future of Lamar Cardinals football under Blane’s direction,” added Born.

A direct disciple of three legendary coaches – Rocky Long, Fisher DeBerry and Troy Calhoun – Long left New Mexico as the school’s all-time winningest coach and now serves as the head coach at San Diego State, while DeBerry is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and retired as the all-time winningest coach at the Air Force Academy. Calhoun has nearly 100 career wins in 13 seasons with the USAFA. Among his 13 seasons with Air Force, Calhoun has guided the Falcons to nine bowl game appearances.

A coach with nearly 20 years of experience, Morgan has spent the previous five seasons at San Diego State helping turn the Aztecs into a national power. Once considered a conference also-ran, SDSU has experienced some of the best results in program history during Morgan’s time on staff. Over the course of the past five seasons, SDSU has recorded a 48-18 (.727) overall record including five bowl game appearances, posting a 2-2 (.500) mark in those games. That five-year stretch has produced two 11-wins seasons, a 10-win campaign and two Mountain West Conference championships.

The Aztecs will face Central Michigan in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 21st.

Under Morgan’s guidance, the Aztec signal-callers ranked second in the Mountain West, and 12th nationally, in 2018 averaging nearly 15 pass yards per completion. In addition, Morgan oversaw the development of quarterback Ryan Agnew who posted a 6-1 record in seven starts and owned the sixth-highest win percentage nationally among all returning starters with a minimum of seven starts in 2019. Agnew has continued that production this season by guiding the Aztecs back to the postseason with a 9-3 (.750) overall record. This season, Agnew has completed nearly 64 percent of his passes for 2,175 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 120 yards and a score.

“I am very excited, honored and humbled to be the next head football coach at Lamar University,” said Morgan. “I want to thank Dr. Evans, Marco Born and the search committee for this tremendous opportunity. The visionary leadership is remarkable and something Lamar faithful should be proud of. Our family is thrilled to be back home in Texas and we can’t wait to make Southeast Texas and the Golden Triangle our home. We are already at work building a program that everyone associated with Lamar football will be proud to call their own. Go Cards.”

Morgan joined the San Diego State staff after a highly successful run at the Air Force Academy where he spent 13 seasons, including the final eight as offensive coordinator. During that stretch, the Falcons posted a 59-44 (.573) overall record, a run that included two nine-win seasons and a 10-win campaign. The Falcons also made seven Bowl appearances during that time posting a 3-4 postseason record.

All told, Morgan has helped take his teams to 12 bowl game appearances in the past 13 seasons.

Air Force’s offense excelled under Morgan’s direction. The Falcons’ 2011 squad set a single-season school record by scoring 454 points and finished third all-time in program history in rushing touchdowns (43) and fourth in passing TDs (16). The team’s 60.3 completion percentage was the second-best mark in program history. The Falcons offense received national recognition being ranked as high as 24th nationally in passing efficiency and third in yards per completion.

Morgan’s players also received high praise under his direction. Morgan produced Shaun Carney who graduated in 2008 as the school’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns, yards and total offense. That same season, Morgan also produced the school’s first Mountain West Freshman of the Year with Tim Jefferson. Jefferson won the first five games of his career and became the first Falcon freshman quarterback to start a bowl game.

A native of Addison, Texas, Morgan returns to the state where he has spent the majority of his time as a recruiter. Morgan recruited the state of Texas for both Air Force and SDSU, and the current Aztec roster bears witness to his work on the recruiting trail. The Aztecs boast of 12 players from the Lone Star State, including seven on the most recent depth chart. Among those seven is the current starting quarterback – Ryan Agnew (Southlake, Texas).

There is a longstanding love affair with the game of football in the Morgan family. Blane, originally born in Nacogdoches, Texas, played for his father, Barry, at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison. Morgan would go on to play his collegiate football at Air Force. He followed in his brother Beau’s footsteps serving as the starting quarterback at both schools.