Former ECU Golf Coach Passes Away

Former East Carolina men’s golf coach Howell ‘Hal’ Morrison lost his fight against cancer and passed away at Pitt County Memorial Hospital on Saturday. He was 78.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, July 18, at Wilkerson Funeral Home from 3-5 p.m. A memorial service will be held for Coach Morrison in Johnson City, Tenn., later this month.

His wife, Brandi, and his son Mark and daughter Connie survive him; his other son Robert preceded him in death. Three stepchildren and six grandchildren also survive him.

Morrison came to ECU in 1986 and made an immediate impact on the program. His team won back-to-back Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) titles in his first two years, and then claimed five consecutive conference championships from 1990-94. His teams claimed 13 tournament titles during his nine years as head coach.

Morrison directed the Pirates into the NCAA East Regional Championships in 1991 and helped Mike Teague earn an at-large bid as an individual to the 1992 East Regional.

He coached four individual CAA champions: Francis Vaughan (1989), John Maginnes (1991), Jeff Craig (1992) and Josh Dickinson (1994).

A 1988 inductee into the Golf Coaches of America Hall of Fame, Morrison began his coaching career at East Tennessee State in 1955 where he stayed for 25 years. After the ETSU program entered Division I competition in 1969 he led the Buccaneers to six NCAA appearances and earned a sixth-place finish in 1975.

Morrison was named Ohio Valley Conference Coach-of-the-Year 10 times and directed the paths of 15 All-Americans, including J.C. Sneed.

Inducted into the ETSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1976, Morrison became the Buccaneers’ first All-American in football during his senior season of 1953. He also excelled as an athlete playing both baseball and basketball.

Morrison came to ECU following a three-year stint at Methodist College in Fayetteville.