his 28th season as a collegiate head coach and 16th year at Utah
State, Stew Morrill has established himself as one of the most
respected coaches in the country. He is also the school’s
all-time winningest coach as he passed the legendary E. Lowell
Romney’s 225 career wins on Jan. 17, 2008 with an 82-78 win
against Boise State.
In 15 years at Utah State, Morrill has taken the Aggie
Basketball program to unprecedented heights leading USU to an
incredible 366-129 (.739) record, including a 186-62 (.750) mark
in the Big West and Western Athletic Conferences. The Aggies
enter their third different conference under Morrill in 2013-14,
when USU joins the Mountain West.
While at Utah State, he has guided the Aggies to 14 straight
21-win seasons, as USU’s 13 straight postseason appearances
(NCAA-8, NIT-4, CIT-1), was snapped last season, but both of
which are school records. Prior to Morrill’s current run, USU
had never posted more than three-straight 20-win seasons and
participated in more than three-straight postseason tournaments.
During the last 14 years, Utah State is one of just five teams
in the nation to win at least 21 games in each of those seasons,
along with Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas and Syracuse.
Morrill has also led Utah State to the fifth-best winning
percentage in the nation during the last 13 years at 75.2
percent with an overall record of 351-116. Against conference
opponents, Utah State has a 212-70 record with seven regular
season league championships and six tournament titles during
that time, including appearances in its league’s tournament
championship game 10 times in the last 14 years.
Under Morrill, Utah State has notched 12 of the top 13 seasons
in school history as the Aggies set a school record with 28 wins
during the 2000 season, tied that record with 28 wins during the
2001 season, set a school record with 30 wins in 2009 and tied
that record with 30 wins in 2011.
In 2012-13, USU went 21-10 overall, posting an 11-7 WAC ledger.
The Aggies posted a 14-4 mark at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum,
marking USU’s fifth-straight season with 14 or more home wins
and its 20th-straight season with double-digit home victories.
Utah State’s streak of consecutive seasons with at least one
player earning first-team all-league accolades halted in 2013,
but two Aggies collected second-team all-WAC honors in junior
guard/foward Spencer Butterfield and junior center Jarred Shaw.
Both Butterfield and Shaw were also tabbed to the WAC’s
During the 2011-12 season, Utah State made its 30th postseason
appearance all-time as it advanced to the championship game of
the CollegeInsider.com Tournament winning four postseason games
in the process, which is a single-season school record.
Guard Preston Medlin was named first-team all-WAC in 2011-12,
becoming just the second sophomore in school history to earn
first-team all-conference honors along with Nate Harris (2004).
Utah State had two other players honored by the WAC in 2012 as
senior guard Brockeith Pane was named to the league’s honorable
mention team, while junior forward Kyisean Reed was voted to the
WAC’s all-newcomer team.
Medlin and Pane were also named to the CollegeInsider.com
all-tournament team in 2012 along with senior forward Morgan
Overall, Morrill has coached 15 first-team all-league players at
Utah State who have won the award a total of 21 times. Morril
has also coached three of the last six WAC Players of the Year
in Tai Wesley (2011), Gary Wilkinson (2009) and Jaycee Carroll
(2008), and all three of those players went on to earn
Associated Press honorable mention All-America honors - Wesley
(2011); Wilkinson (2009); Carroll (2007, 2008).
During the 2010-11 season, Morrill guided Utah State to its
fourth-straight regular season WAC Championship, including its
third-straight outright title with a 15-1 record. USU also won
its second WAC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA
Tournament for the 20th time in school history, including eight
times under Morrill’s watch.
Furthermore, the 2010-11 Aggie basketball team was nationally
ranked for the last nine weeks of the season and finished the
year ranked No. 25 in the country in final ESPN/USA Today
Coaches’ Poll, marking the first time since the 1978 season and
only the eighth time in school history that an Aggie team was
nationally ranked at the end of the year.
Morrill was also honored during the 2010-11 season and was named
the WAC Coach of the Year for the third time in as many years.
He was also named the 2011 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year
by CollegeInsider.com and the National Association of Basketball
Coaches District 6 Co-Coach of the Year for the second-straight
All-time, Morrill has been named Coach of the Year (2000 BWC,
2002 BWC, 2009 WAC, 2010 WAC, 2011 WAC) five times in his 15
years at USU, along with winning the Big Sky award while the
head coach at Montana in 1991.
Morrill has taken full advantage of the home court at USU, the
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In Morrill’s 15 years, USU is an
amazing 224-22 (.910) at home, which includes a 111-13 (.895)
record in league play.
As for Morrill, he has won 20 or more games on 18 different
occasions during his career and has won at least 17 games a
total of 24 times.
Overall, Morrill ranks 16th in the nation among active coaches
and 57th all-time with his 584 career wins, while his career
winning percentage of 68.6 percent ranks 23rd among active
coaches and 80th all-time. He is also one of 18 active coaches
with 500 career wins at the Division I level and one of just 11
active coaches to notch at least 18 20-win seasons. His current
streak of 14 straight 20-win seasons ranks tied for fifth among
active coaches and is tied for the 11th-longest streak at the
Division I level.
Academics and community service have been of top priority to
Morrill and his staff as all of the team members are involved
with USU’s CHAMPS/Life Skills Program within the community. In
his 15 years, Morrill has graduated better than 80 percent of
his players, and over the past 11 years, Utah State has had 32
academic all-conference honorees.
Morrill, who was born in Provo, Utah and attended Provo High
School, owns a career record of 584-267 in 27 years of
collegiate coaching, including a 366-129 record at Utah State in
15 years, a 121-86 record in seven years at Colorado State
(1992-98) and a 97-52 mark in five campaigns at Montana
“There are several reasons that I was attracted to Utah State,”
Morrill said when he was hired. “The first was being a Utah
native so that it is a homecoming of sorts for me. My brother
and sister both live within an hour and a half of Logan.
“I am very familiar with the tradition of Utah State basketball
and can name the greats as well as any alumni could,” Morrill
added. “It is a good basketball situation and my family will
love the quality of the community of Logan. It is a great place
to live and that is very important to me and my family. It just
made sense to us.”
The 61-year old ranks second on the CSU victory list and second
in winning percentage. He guided the Rams to back-to-back 20-win
seasons the last two years in Fort Collins, with identical 20-9
marks. During the 1997-98 season, CSU made its second trip to
the NIT in the last three years.
Morrill guided CSU to two of its eight all-time 20-win seasons
and won at least 17 games five times in his seven years. In
fact, Morrill-led CSU teams own three of the top nine winning
seasons in school history.
During his tenure at Colorado State, he coached three first-team
all-WAC selections, one second-team pick and six honorable
mention choices. Three of his players were named to the WAC
After his collegiate playing career, which included being named
an All-American at nearby Ricks (Idaho) Junior College and a
two-time all-Big Sky selection at Gonzaga, Morrill played
professionally in Europe.
His coaching career began as an assistant at Gonzaga from
1975-78 and then to Montana where he was an assistant from
1979-86 working for Mike Montgomery, who spent 17 years as the
head coach at Stanford and is now the head coach at California.
Montgomery worked under Jim Brandenburg and Jud Heathcote, who
retired after a successful career, which included a national
championship at Michigan State.
Morrill took over the Montana program in 1987 before moving to
Colorado State in 1992. He is known for his deep-rooted values,
consistency, hard work, dedication, honesty, integrity and
concern for the welfare of his student-athletes.
Morrill earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Gonzaga in
1974. He was born July 25, 1952 in Provo, Utah.
He and his wife Vicki have four grown children; sons Jesse and
Allan, and daughters Nicole and Tiffany, and five grandchildren.