At a press conference held Friday, Utah State head basketball coach Stew Morrill announced that he will retire at the end of this season. He has been the head man for the Aggies for 17 seasons and has won 393 games, which makes him the winningest coach of all time at the school. He also is the 14th active Division I head coach with 600 career wins and the 41st coach overall.
Along with Morrill at the press conference was Athletic Director Scott Barnes and President Stan Albrecht. Both of the men had high praise for Stew.
"He will forever go down in history as one of the greatest coaches to walk the sideline at the Spectrum," Barnes said. "The big fella has won big." President Albrecht chimed in, saying "He stayed with us... he is Utah State." He added that Coach Morrill will be the commencement speaker at graduation in May of this year.
Reflecting on his time at Utah State, the thing he said he will most remember is "good kids."
"The current group of players I have right now are trying very hard to win. I'm honored to be finishing with them," Morrill said.
As to why he chose now in the season to make this announcement, Morrill said he wanted to give time to the school to find a proper replacement for him and to also give time to his assistants to find jobs. He also added that a new 'voice' will be good for the new coaches, players, and fans.
Scott Barnes added to that: "Coach Morrill has left the table full for the next coach to come."
Morrill is currently in his 17th season as a head coach for the Aggies. Prior to joining USU, he worked as a head coach at Montana, where he amassed a 97-52 record from 1987-1991. He then went to Colorado State and coached there from 1992-1998, where he had a record of 121-86.
Morrill said it was the right time to retire and jokingly said, "I think it's really important that I hung it up before 'Stew' turned into 'Boo'."
Barnes said that a national search will get underway immediately but won't have any more comments until the new coach is brought in.
The team is at home for tomorrow night's game against New Mexico. It will start at 7 p.m. MT and will be streamed on ESPN3.