By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
There will be a familiar face roaming the sidelines of the Gaston High football field this autumn.
Swane Morris, who went 70-37 while coaching the Bulldogs from 2001-09, was hired this week to once again coach at his alma mater.
“I want to introduce the new Gaston football coach,” said Etowah County Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Alan Cosby at a specially-called meeting Tuesday.
“Well, he’s new but he’s old. We hope he picks up right where he left off.”
That goal might be difficult, as Morris’ last Gaston team finished 9-4 and the 2012 Bulldogs went winless.
“Seriously, coach Morris did a fantastic job at Gaston and we know he’ll do a great job there again,” Cosby said. “We’re tickled to death to get him back.”
Morris coached at Scottsboro High the past three years, during which the Wildcats won five games.
“First thing I’m going to do is have a players meeting tomorrow,” Morris said. “I’m going to introduce myself to the players. It’ll be a little strange being at Gaston but not knowing most of the players. I know some of them from when I was here and I went to a few basketball games, to see them play.”
Morris said he wasn’t sure about the hiring until it happened, but he was hopeful throughout the process.
Morris said that as soon as spring break is over, he’d have the team in the weight room, and around the end of April he’ll hold spring practice.
“I’ve already done a bit of work to make sure I got to be with them at spring practice,” he said. “I’m ready to get back into it.”
In Morris’ nine seasons, the Bulldogs made the state playoffs eight times, won 10 or more games three times and won the region title in 2008 and 2009. The 2008 squad went to the Class 2A state semifinals.