Feb. 18, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Western Carolina head football coach Mark Speir has added former Louisiana-Lafayette defensive back and Vanderbilt graduate assistant, LaMar Morgan, to his coaching staff as the Catamount program prepares for annual spring drills in mid-March.
Morgan, who spent two years assisting with the Commodores' SAM linebackers and nickel backs, replaces former assistant coach Steve Sisa who took a similar position at James Madison, coaching the Dukes' safeties.
In two seasons on staff in Nashville, Morgan helped Vanderbilt's defense rank inside the top 23 nationally in total defense in back-to-back, 9-4 seasons that ended in bowl game appearances. Last fall, Vanderbilt ranked 14th nationally at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level in total takeaways including 13th nationally in interceptions.
"We are very excited about LaMar (Morgan) joining our coaching staff," said Speir. "LaMar is an excellent teacher and coach. He has been very successful every where he has been both as a player and as a coach. He brings a lot of energy, enthusiasm and ideas to our program on the defensive side of the football."
Morgan was a four-year letter winner at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2003, 2005-07, starting for four years at safety, playing in 40 career games. He finished with 111 career tackles including 61 solo stops and four tackles for loss with a sack, posting 55 tackles as a senior and a single-game career-high 14 in 2006 against Texas A&M as a junior. He intercepted four passes from his safety position and tallied nine pass break-ups as a player.
A two-time team captain for the Ragin' Cajuns, Morgan was also a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy - now the Campbell Trophy or referenced as the "Academic Heisman" - as a senior. During his playing career, Morgan was also a two-time Sun Belt Commissioner's List selection and appeared on the Sun Belt Conference Honor Roll five times.
After receiving some interest from NFL teams, Morgan ventured into professional football with the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League (AFL). In 2010, he tallied 18 tackles including seven solo stops with a pair of pass break-ups.
Originally from Copperas Cove, Texas, Morgan got his coaching start at Joshua High in Texas, working with the varsity secondary while also assisting with the middle school's team.
A 2007 graduate of UL-Lafayette with a bachelor's in business administration, Morgan has a pair of post-graduate degrees from Texas A&M-Commerce and is working towards a third Master's degree from Vanderbilt.
Season tickets for the 2014 season are on-sale now through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office and online at CatamountSports.com. With WCU celebrating its 125th anniversary, fans can purchase a reserved adult season ticket for all six home games for just $125 with youth reserved starting at $65. Returning season ticket holders must renew their season tickets by June 30, 2014. Fans can call the ticket office toll free at (800) 34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401.
Speir and the football coaching staff anticipate breaking winter gym and opening spring drills in Cullowhee on March 18 with the NCAA-mandated 15 practices to be spread over four weeks. Practice will culminate with a spring event, presented by Wells Fargo, scheduled for Sat., April 12 in Cullowhee.