Tim Morris inducted into MFCA Hall of Fame

Apr 11, 2019 by

MHS Super Bowl coach to be honored

Published April 12, 2019

By JENNIFER GENTILE

MELROSE—Melrose Red Raider football’s commander in chief is now a Hall of Famer. 

Tim Morris, head coach of the Melrose High School football team, has been chosen for induction to the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) Hall of Fame, joining six others who will be honored at its 33rd annual banquet on Sunday, April 28, at the Doubletree Hotel in Westborough.

The 2017 Coach of the Year has the distinction of being the only Melrose High football coach to bring the Melrose Red Raider team to a Super Bowl title. The highlight of his 36-year coaching career is no doubt his managing of the perfect 13-0 football team that secured Melrose’s 2017 state title. Morris has brought Melrose to three Super Bowls, finishing the job in 2017. His 2015 team was also undefeated going into the Super Bowl and finished 12-1. 

TIM MORRIS will be inducted into the MHSFCA Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 28 in Westborough, MA. The Red Raider football coach is being honored for his 30 years of MHS coaching. (file photo)

Entering his 25th year as head coach, Melrose has won the Middlesex League championship seven times. One such memorable season was Melrose’s 1998-99 team that was a coin flip away from a Super Bowl. Much of the Red Raiders’ recent success started in 2013, when it won three straight league titles, four Northwest Sectional championships and back-to-back Super Bowl trips in 2014-2015.

Morris has earned several prestigious awards over the years, including the Boston Globe Coach of the Year award in 1998, Middlesex League Coach of the Year in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2007. He was named Patriots Coach of the Week in 1999, 2004, 2007 and 2017. He has also been named coach of the Shriner’s All Star Classic four times. 

The honor, according to Morris is both humbling and gratifying. “I’m in great company,” he says. “There is a fraternity of Melrose coaches that preceded me. It makes it more special to join their ranks. It’s like a family.” Indeed. Morris joins an impressive list of other MHS football coaching legends who are inducted in the MHSFCA, including his predecessor, Bruce MacPherson, David Galvin  (1975) and Harold Poole (1962).

A graduate of Melrose High in 1978, Morris wrestled under Frank Ball and played football for Joe Hoague. The former Red Raider and MHS teacher took the head coaching position at MHS in 1994 after serving as an assistant for 10 years. He attended Bridgton Academy and Springfield College. Morris is also a state champion coach with the Melrose Red Raider wrestling team, who clinched the Div. 3 title in 2017.

While reaching such success is certainly gratifying, the road getting there is one that Morris respectfully won’t forget. “We had plenty of years when we were close, or things didn’t go our way, like the year of the coin flip [Thanksgiving 1999], and we had plenty of tough losses. It’s great that the program is where it is now. There were other years, 1999, 2004, 2007 when winning the league was a lot harder than it is now. Those were fun seasons, too. We eventually knew, you keep your head down, walk the talk, good things would happen. Obviously being at the Super Bowl three times and winning it, was a special highlight.”

Even after over 30 years Morris still feels the excitement for football in Melrose. He says, “You hear that numbers are down in other communities, but there are still kids who want to play here in Melrose and I’m glad because the life lessons that football teaches never change.”

One thing he appreciates is seeing old faces of former players return. “Getting to see these kids grow, come back and pursue coaching themselves, that means more than anything.”

The Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association will hold its annual Award Dinner on Sunday, April 28 at the Hilton Doubletree in Westboro. Social hour begins at 4 p.m. and dinner begins at 5 p.m. For ticket information please contact Sandy Ruggles (sandyruggles@hotmail.com) or Tom Lopez (LSFootball@aol.com).

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