Maranatha Baptist’s Morrison retires

After 29 seasons and numerous NCCAA regional and national titles, Coach Clayton Morrison has stepped down as head coach of the Maranatha Women’s Basketball Program.

Coach Mo made the decision before the conclusion of the 2021-22 season, in which the Sabercats reached the NCCAA North Region Championship but suffered a heartbreaking 64-66 loss to Trinity Bible College.

His 29 seasons at the helm make him the longest-tenured coach in the history of Maranatha Athletics. 

For Coach Mo, the decision to hang up the whistle was made for family reasons – so he could dedicate more time to being a full-time dad and grandpa.

The Maranatha Mainstay steps down after leading the team to a 343-408 record over his time as head coach, capturing 21 NCCAA Regional Championships and three NCCAA National Championships (1999, 2013, 2014). He was named as the NCCAA DII National Coach of the Year twice – at the conclusion of the 2000-01 season and the 2011-12 season. Under Coach Mo’s leadership, Maranatha received 29 NCCAA All-American selections. Fittingly matching the number of seasons Coach Mo was in charge.

For 11 of his seasons, Coach Mo greeted the new class of freshmen knowing that he had been coaching the team longer than they’d been alive. For him, coaching for 29 years was just another way to invest in the lives of young Christian women. 

By the end of his tenure, Coach Mo’s name had practically become synonymous with the program itself.

Fitting Tributes

For Coach Mo, coaching was a compelling motivator to teach life principles to the student-athletes, particularly his own two daughters, Kristin and Callie.

Both Kristin and Callie were NCCAA All-Americans during their standout four-year careers. Kristin helped capture the 2013 NCCAA DII National Championship and Callie led the team to qualify for two NCCAA Final Four appearances. While they never played together, Kristin and Callie combined for 2,846 points, 1,195 rebounds, 679 assists, and 462 steals.

“We are thankful for the years of investment that Coach Mo has provided to Maranatha Baptist University, and in particular, the 29 years at the helm of the women’s basketball program,” said Rob Thompson, Marantha’s Director of Athletics. “The hallmark of his team’s ability to peak at the season has been nothing less than amazing.

“We congratulate Coach Mo as he hangs up his whistle at MBU, and wish him the best as he embarks on his new career as a full-time dad and grandpa.”

“Thank you for all the time and energy that you have invested in so many people,” said Erin Steuerwald, who helped capture back-to-back national titles for the program in 2013 and 2014. “And it has paid off. You have influenced a lot of people, and a lot of people have gone on to coach. The memories that we have made in college are a result of that and of the good times we remember.”

“Thank you for all your time and dedication to your teams,” said Patty Garcia, who helped the team win its first national title in 1999. “You taught us so much about working hard and how it pays off. And for just your genuine care and concern in asking people how they were doing- [I] could always tell you genuinely cared about the person. We truly wish you the best and thank you for all the time and dedication you’ve put into the girls and the team – you made us feel like a family and we wish you all the best.”

Coach Mo continued the tradition of the program after head coaches Katherine Method (1979-82), Vickie (Grooms) Denny (1982-1989), Pam Albana (1989-1990), and Joel Johnson (1990-1993), making him the longest-tenured coach in the program history. Coach Mo filled the head coach role longer than the other four coaches combined.

Story courtesy: Taylor Pill

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