Although it was known all of last season, it is still going to take time for me to adjust to Jim Morris not sitting in the Miami Hurricanes‘ dugout.
For 25 seasons, he was the face of one of the best collegiate baseball programs in the country and finally stepped down after the 2018 season. The program looks to be in good hands, but it will be a little weird to see Gino DiMare managing the team.
With the 2019 college baseball season kicking off against Rutgers, it is important to look back at what Morris did for this program and how the Hurricanes got to where they are now.
Ron Fraser led the program for 30 seasons from 1963 to 1992 and accumulated 1,271 wins as the manager, which is nearly half of the wins in program history to this day. This included the first College World Series Championships in the school’s history in 1982 and 1985. When he stepped down in 1992, Brad Kelley took over, but was only the head coach for one season.
Following the 1993 season, Morris was hired from Georgia Tech after he led the Yellow Jackets to four-consecutive ACC titles. His record at Georgia Tech was 504-244-1.
In his first season at Miami, he made a huge improvement from the ’93 season under Kelley when the Hurricanes finished with a 36-22 record. They went 49-14 and made a trip to the College World Series, Morris’ first as a head coach.
The Canes would return to the College World Series for the first five seasons Morris was in Coral Gables before taking home the National Championship in his sixth season. They missed the CWS the following year, but returned in 2001 and took home the program’s fourth title.
Morris finished his career with 1,594 wins, seventh most in the history of college baseball. He also won four ACC Coach of the Year trophies, brought Miami to Omaha in 11 of the first 15 seasons with the team and 13 times overall.
The program did struggle in the last decade or so in comparison to the rest of his tenure. In the 12 seasons since 2007, the Hurricanes only appeared in the College World Series three times and missed the NCAA Tournament all together the past two seasons.
But there is no question Morris has put this program in a great position over the years and will be remembered not only as one of the best all-around coaches in the school’s history, but also nationally as one of the best baseball coaches.