KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Former Oregon Tech Athletic Director and Head Coach Howard Morris passed away at his home in Klamath Falls on Monday surrounded by family and friends. He was 81.
Morris began his wrestling and football coaching career at Tigard High School in 1958 before taking over the head coaching job at Oregon Tech from 1962-1977. Other coaching duties at Oregon Tech included head football coach from 1965-67 while assisting for 24 seasons, head baseball coach from 1978-1983 and assisting for three years. Morris also served Oregon Tech as the Athletics Director from 1972 until his retirement in 1992. Howard became the first ever Commissioner of the Cascade Collegiate Conference in 1992 and retired 2003.
Along with his induction to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Morris was also a member of the Crater High School Hall of Fame for football in 2003 and at Linfield College in 1999, where Morris was named a 1st Team All-American, along with his jersey being retired at the University. Howard was inducted into the Oregon Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame – National Service Award in 2008 and NAIA – National Hall of Fame, and received Outstanding Achievement and Meritorious Service at OIT in 1996.
Howard and his wife Virginia “Ginger” also became avid Oregon Tech supporters and supplied scholarships for student athletes. Howard and Ginger Morris established the Howard and Ginger Morris Scholarship in 2004 to assist a worthy student athlete who has demonstrated outstanding citizenship and moral character, inspirational leadership skills, average to outstanding academic and athletic ability and could be described as a “team player.”
“Our sympathy goes out to the Morris family,” stated CCC Commissioner Robert Cashell. “Howard was an endearing person and well respected among the CCC members and within the NAIA as a true leader in intercollegiate athletics.”
Ginger and Howard had recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Howard is survived by his wife Ginger, 5 children, 10 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. The Morris family has asked for privacy but will announce services in the coming days.