Josh Morgan faces tough task as Viking coach

Published 12:59 pm Thursday, April 1, 2010

There’s a news flash I’d love to break.

New Warren Central football coach Josh Morgan can’t help that his father is Robert Morgan, who once also was head coach at WC.

Nor can Josh help that he was born white.

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The wailing and gnashing of teeth over the hiring of defensive coordinator Josh Morgan as WC’s newest head football coach has commenced, and it likely won’t die down soon.

A lot of folks believe that offensive coordinator Larry Tyrone, who long has been a part of the WC coaching staff and who happens to be black, should have gotten the job.

They cite the fact Tyrone, age 54, has much more experience than the younger Morgan, who was an All-SEC safety at Mississippi State and who has experience, albeit as a graduate assistant, in the college ranks. Tyrone has been at the school nearly 30 years and has been a loyal, hard-working member of the WC coaching staff.

But neither has been a head coach. This columnist would wager that one of the reasons for Josh’s hiring is that he is a younger guy with more of his career ahead of him. If both he and Tyrone had been around the same age, Tyrone would have had a better shot. Dissenters cite correctly that WC has never had a black head coach, but the age difference was likely a deciding factor.

That’s no slam against Tyrone. Tyrone is relatively close to retirement and his hiring would force the school district to look for yet another coach in a few, short years. Morgan has plenty of years ahead of him at age 30.

But no matter who was hired, some facts are not in dispute. The glory days of the Vikings are exactly like the Bruce Springsteen song, “Glory Days.”

Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory of.

Well time slips away and leaves you with nothing, mister, but boring stories of glory days.

The Vikings have trailed off from their days when playing Warren Central meant a long, painful night. A lot of the fans blamed Curtis Brewer, the last WC coach, for the WC failings. Message boards constantly lit up with how WC’s offense was “too conservative” or how the game had passed Brewer by. The truth was that conservative approach, based on a stout defense and running-based attack, kept the Vikings in plenty of games.

But the simple matter is that the talent level just isn’t what it was. In the past four years, the Vikings have had one primetime player who signed an FBS (football bowl subdivision, the old Division I-A) scholarship, Chico Hunter.

Coaches always are quick to tell you their work is a product of talent. Brewer and Robert Morgan didn’t forget what they had done successfully for so long. But no matter how good coaching is, if the talent is not as plentiful, the wins are going to be fewer. Simple math, really. Last year’s big loss to Madison Central showed the gap between the state’s top tier of teams (Madison Central, South Panola, Noxubee, Olive Branch) and Warren Central is a wide chasm, not a decreasing-width trench.

Morgan’s task is an uneviable one. The school needs a new locker room and separate weight room. The facilities once considered the envy of the state are now graying relics of a bygone era. The talent level, be it eroded from tougher academic standards or a general ability to keep potential stars out of trouble, is not what it was.

So give the man a chance. He wasn’t handed the job because of his name. He’s earned it. And it isn’t going to be an easy chore.

Steve Wilson is sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at or 601-636-4545, ext. 142.