Carson-Newman introduces new athletic director

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (release) -- Carson-Newman College President Randall O’Brien announced today that Knoxville’s Allen Morgan has been named Director of Athletics, effective May 1.

“I am thrilled that Allen will lead our athletics program,” said O’Brien.

“He is the total package for what we need in the coming years. He understands the importance we put on academics. He knows athletics as a player, coach and administrator and he is a gifted leader with broad experience. Like his predecessor David Barger, who has served C-N so well for more than three decades, Allen will love Carson-Newman with alumnus fervor and will lead athletics with a servant’s care.”

The president said the new AD’s background is “tailor-fit’ for his new role.

“Personal growth and community development have been the mainstays of Allen’s public service career and his private sector work, so he will be able to reach out to students, parents, alumni, fans and corporate partners. Along with these abilities, and the experience of being a Carson-Newman student athlete, he has the attributes of a faithful follower of Christ and dedicated husband and father,” praised O’Brien.

A 1968 C-N alumnus and trustee, Morgan retired from a long career in education, culminating in his service as superintendent of Knox County Schools from 1992-98. The system’s last elected superintendent (1992), he oversaw its transition to an appointed position when the Board of Education hired him to continue the job in 1996. He oversaw more than 50,000 students and some 7000 employees at 91 schools, and was selected Superintendent of the Year in 1997 by Tennessee’s State PTA.

Morgan’s 22 years of public school administration included three years as assistant principal of Karns High School and 13 years as principal of Powell High School. His commitment to professional excellence and student growth led Powell to be the first Knox County School named “BEST” by the Greater Knoxville Chamber of Commerce; it was one of just four Tennessee high schools to be named a finalist in the National Schools Recognition Program (1990-91). Beyond academic excellence, he led PHS through an extensive renovation program during his tenure.

Upon his retirement from Knox County, the 1964 Carter High School graduate joined Clayton Homes as president of CMH Parks, its communities and subdivision group. In that capacity for a decade, he directed the efforts of almost 300 employees and led the development of some 22,000 homes in communities across the country.

Morgan entered C-N in the fall of 1964 as a freshman baseball player and was part of the team that won the 1965 NAIA National Championship, the institution’s first athletic national title. He coached baseball at Powell before taking the school’s helm as principal.

C-N’s new AD is married to Phyllis Mitchell Morgan, who retired after 30 years as an elementary school teacher. The Morgans are active members of Knoxville’s Wallace Memorial Baptist Church. Their son Chris, a 1997 C-N grad, and his wife Melanie live in Georgia, where he is senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Chickamauga.

According to 1974 C-N alumnus Carl Torbush, assistant head coach at Liberty University, “Carson-Newman has made a great selection in Allen Morgan. His resume demonstrates success in everything he’s done.”

Torbush, a longtime Morgan friend who and former head coach at UNC-Chapel Hill, confirmed O’Brien’s assessment of compatibility, saying” He has a vivacious personality; understands the C-N culture; and has been a strong supporter for many years. Most importantly, he is a strong Christian. Allen is absolutely the right man for this job!”

Morgan will assume the leadership of C-N’s storied athletics program and its heritage of success. Since joining the South Atlantic Conference (SAC), Carson-Newman has brought home 73 conference titles spread across 13 sports.

Fourteen sports have advanced to NCAA Tournament play in the last decade, led by seven-straight NCAA Tournament appearances by women’s soccer, men’s soccer, and softball. The women’s soccer team reached the Final Four in both 2004 and 2005. Both men’s and women’s golf teams are currently ranked in the Top 15.

For three decades, Carson-Newman’s football program has been a national powerhouse. The Eagles have won five national championships, played for nine, and most recently reached the NCAA Semifinals in 2009, a game televised nationally on ESPN. Head coach Ken Sparks has led the Eagles to 299 career wins in 32 seasons and is poised, when the Eagles take the field this fall, to become the 12th coach in college football history to win 300 career games.


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