Rio Grande’s Morrissey selected for NAIA Hall of Fame

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

Scott Morrissey

Scott Morrissey

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — University of Rio Grande men’s soccer head coach Scott Morrissey is among seven athletes and coaches who have been selected for induction into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame.

The announcement came Monday from the national office as part of the annual NAIA National Awards Day.

Morrissey, now in his 31st season as the head coach of the RedStorm, has built one of the most dominant programs in the history of the NAIA. In his 30 seasons prior to the current campaign, Morrissey compiled an impressive record of 480-120-34 (.760). The 480 victories rank third all-time in the NAIA and his .760 winning percentage is the second-best among active NAIA coaches.

Morrissey’s 2019 squad currently sits at 6-0 overall and is ranked No. 2 in the latest NAIA coaches’ Top 25 poll.

“When you receive an honor like this, you quickly get reflective – and then it gets overwhelming. I’ve got a million thoughts in my head regarding how it’s come about,” said Morrissey. “Usually, this is the kind of award you receive at the end of your career, but I still feel like I’ve got a long way to go. I’m blessed to do what I do. I don’t know that I’ve worked a day in my life yet.”

Since 2001, Morrissey has led Rio Grande to 18 consecutive NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship appearances, including two NAIA National Championship red banners (2003, 2015) and two NAIA National Runner-Up finishes (2008, 2016). The RedStorm advanced to the NAIA semifinals on six occasions, while also making 10 appearances in the quarterfinals.

Under the direction of Morrissey, the RedStorm have won 18 conference championships, including 10-straight from 1998-2007, for one of the most dominating runs in NAIA men’s soccer history. The RedStorm have been a fixture in the NAIA rankings under Morrissey, having appeared in 118 consecutive top-25 polls – which is the second-most all-time – and also churned out an unbelievable 112-game regular-season unbeaten streak from October 21, 2000, to September 16, 2006.

“Coach Morrissey’s enthusiasm and professional demeanor has always been over and above. Scott is a highly-motivated, hard-working, dedicated family member of Rio Sports,” said Rio Grande Athletic Director Jeff Lanham. “In addition to performing his coaching duties at an exemplary level, Scott demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the University of Rio Grande community as well as to the game of soccer.”

Morrissey has been named conference Coach of the Year 11 times (four times in the America Mideast Conference, three times in the Mid-South Conference, once in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and each of the last three seasons in the River States Conference), while also earning NAIA National Coach of the Year honors in both 2003 and 2015. He has produced a total of six NAIA National Championship Most Valuable Players (two Championship MVPs, three Defensive MVPs, and one Offensive MVP), in addition to one NAIA National Player of the Year (William Paulino, 2015).

The University of Rio Grande has produced a total of 58 NAIA All-American selections since Morrissey’s arrival in 1989, including 29 first-team honorees.

“I’m really grateful for the players who took a chance on coming to play at a place like Rio…and we’ve had some phenomenal kids come here,” Morrissey said. “Tony Daniels was my assistant for 25 or 26 years and we built this program together. He deserves a huge thanks for his hard work and effort. I’ve had other assistant coaches who’ve made massive contributions. You can’t forget about the support we’ve received from our administration, as well as the support and contributions that Evan and Elizabeth Davis have made to our program. This is not an honor you receive without a lot of great, great people alongside you and I thank each and every one of them for believing in me.”

In addition to his tremendous success on the soccer pitch, Morrissey has been an active member of the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches Association, serving on the NAIA All-American Selection Committee, functioning as a national rater and also as the Major League Soccer coordinator for the NAIA.

Before joining the coaching ranks, Morrissey was an outstanding soccer student-athlete at Tiffin University from 1985-88, earning conference player of the year honors in 1988, and was also a two-time NAIA All-American (1987, 1988). He is a member of both the Tiffin University Athletic Hall of Fame as a student-athlete and the University of Rio Grande Athletic Hall of Fame as a coach.

“Rio has had many stories regarding the success of athletics at this institution. Scott Morrissey and Rio Soccer is one that needs to be told,” Lanham said. “The 30 plus years at Rio have shown me Scott’s tireless dedication, reliability and how he demonstrates these qualities to young men from all over the world. It’s a huge leadership characteristic he has confirmed throughout his time at Rio Grande.”

Morrissey, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, who also serves as assistant director of athletics and director of compliance at the school, currently resides in Gallipolis, Ohio. He has two daughters, Allison and Samantha, and one son, Brenen.

Morrissey, whose induction will take place during the 2019 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship, which takes place Dec. 2-7 in Irvine, Calif., will join men’s basketball legend Clarence “Bevo” Francis as Rio Grande’s only members of the Hall of Fame.

Scott Morrissey Morrissey

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.