Geno Morgan, as many among the Tiger faithful as well as most of the basketball world already know, died at the age of 49. It’s an unfathomable, gut-wrenching loss, but the impact Coach Morgan had on everybody he touched has become apparent as former players, fellow coaches, sports writers, alumni (from many schools), and many others share their thoughts through social media, email, and phone calls.
Below we have compiled a sampling of the many tributes. We will continue to update this, and would love to hear from anybody (email Josh Loftin) who wants to contribute. You can also join the conversation through Twitter by searching “Geno Morgan” or through our Facebook page.
“There are three great arenas of life: Work, Play, and Love. Some of us find success in one or two of these arenas; it is very rare to find a person that can balance all three. Geno Morgan not only balanced all three, he mastered them. He taught boys to become men and brought the best out of everyone he associated with. He loved Lisa the young people he coached and they loved him back. He worked hard, played hard, and loved big.
Geno, thank you for all you have given me. You are, and always will be, my mentor, my hero, and my friend.”
— Travis Madsen, Wasatch Academy Athletic Director (via email)
“Today is a very sad day not only for me but for the State of Utah and the basketball world. A great young father, teacher of the game, a coaches coach and above all a great friend passed away last night in Chicago in his sleep. Geno Morgan made Wasatch Academy one of the great powers in High School basketball. He had an infectious smile and possessed a no nonsense on the court mentality to his players and his staff. It seemed like only yesterday when I met Geno and he talked to me about building a successful program ( He didn’t need my advice he already had great knowledge of his own). He did it out of respect for my being an old head of the game, a trait a lot of people in his age group do not have. Geno worked so hard to ensure his players were able to play on the next level not only academically but he also taught them the life skills that are necessary to make it through college. It is really hard to write this with tears running down my face but I have to push on. It is going to be hard not seeing your smiling face at the coaches clinic, or when we were scouting the same opponent or even watching you coach. All I will have is the great memories you left me with. Memories of a young man who truly cared about his kids more than basketball! Yes today is a sad day for me but I thank God for the laughs and the short time we had together.”
— Layton Christian Academy Head Coach Bobby Porter (via Facebook)
“As I got more comfortable with (Coach Morgan), he started teaching me the game of basketball in a way no one has before, I started to become smarter in different aspects of the game, seeing the increase of my basketball skills. But this goes beyond basketball, this man took me in like I was his son, showed me that there’s more to life than basketball and using this game can teach you how to become a man and get an education. This man worked countless hours with me and my stubborn attitude, he never gave up on me, he told me after I had a bad game that there’s plenty more and he loves me.Coach Geno Morgan, like a father figure away from home. Without you God knows where I’d be and how I would of ended up, I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART.”
—Senior guard Koby McEwen (via Facebook)
“Today we lost one of the best men I knew outside of family, Geno Morgan. He talked sense into me more than a few times, he always had ‘jokes,’ and he always had my back and everyone elses! Coach, you will never be forgotten. Your family, friends, players, students, and peers will always hear your wisdom in their heads on their journey. We are all better for knowing you. All my love goes out to Lisa and your family.”
— Wasatch Academy Alumni Director Casey Brinkley
For a more formal news release and bio of Coach Morgan, read this post.