On March 7, the night before his team started its quest for a national championship, JWU’s Lonnie Morris, men’s wrestling head coach and assistant athletics director, received his sport’s highest honor. The 26-year Wildcat mat boss was named the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Coach of the Year.
“We are pleased to recognize this year’s National Coach of the Year recipient Lonnie Morris and want to thank him for providing a quality experience for his student-athletes, and for being an outstanding role model to our sport,” said Mike Moyer, NWCA executive director.
Johnson & Wales had a program-best with nine wrestlers qualifying for the NCAA Championships, March 8-9, in Roanoke, Virginia. The Wildcats made history by becoming the first New England school to send nine wrestlers and set an NCAA Northeast Regional record by scoring 187 points. It was JWU's third regional title in a row.
The regional championship, which was February 23-24, was JWU's fourth tournament title of the year to go along with the Roger Williams Invitational, New Standard Invitational and New England Dual Meet Championship. After dominating this year’s regional championship, Morris was named the meet’s Coach of the Year and JWU’s Brian Allen was named Assistant Coach of the Year.
As a native Rhode Islander, giving back to the wrestling community is also important to Morris. He and his team are very active in the community with over 200 hours spent helping Beat the Streets Providence and conducting many clinics at clubs and high schools throughout the northeast.
Congratulations to Lonnie Morris.