BANGOR, Maine — Bangor High School football and baseball head coach Dave Morris is one of the top 50 nominees for U.S. Cellular’s Most Valuable Coach award.
Morris is among five nominees for the award, which honors current coaches of K-12 school-affiliated sports teams who inspire their players through leadership and community involvement. Last year, Foxcroft Academy wrestling and boys soccer coach Luis Ayala of Dover-Foxcroft won the award, and the $50,000 prize went to the Foxcroft Academy athletics program.
Other Maine nominees are Anthony Amero, boys basketball coach at Forest Hills High School of Jackman; Paula Doughty, field hockey coach at Skowhegan Area High School; Sharon Gallant, field hockey coach at Gardiner Area High School; and Sarah Williams, field hockey coach at Hodgdon Middle-High School.
The Top 50 coaches nationwide are now listed on TheMostValuableCoach.com, and the public may vote for their favorite coaches through 12:59 p.m. Oct. 8.
The 15 coaches earning the most votes will be announced Oct. 11, and U.S. Cellular will donate $5,000 to their schools and celebrate with them at a local event.
The final three winning coaches will receive donations of $50,000, $20,000 and $10,000, respectively, for their schools. The first-place coach also will be awarded a Samsung tech prize package valued at $30,000 for his or her school. The winning coaches will be announced Nov. 20.
“We congratulate and thank all Top 50 nominees for their work in making a positive impact in their cities,” Matt Kasper, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England, said in a release. “U.S. Cellular encourages the Bangor community to rally behind their favorite coach, and honor the great work these men and women are doing.”
Morris is a 1985 Bangor High School graduate who played catcher in baseball under Bob Kelley, and strong safety and running back in football under Gabby Price.
Morris has been the Rams’ head baseball coach for the past two years, guiding the team to its fourth and fifth consecutive Class A state championships. He was an assistant under former head coach Jeff Fahey when Bangor won the first three state titles of its streak.
Before joining Fahey’s staff in 2010, Morris spent 12 years as head baseball coach at Brewer High School where he led the Witches to a 135-66 record. Brewer qualified for postseason play every season, won the Eastern Maine Class A championship in 2008 and advanced to the regional final in 2004.
Morris was the head baseball coach at Hermon High School for three years before taking the Brewer post.
Morris also is a longtime American Legion baseball coach, serving 11 years as head coach of the Brewer Falcons. He moved on to the Bangor Coffee News Comrades, whom he has led to three Legion state championships in the last five years.
In football, Morris was head coach of Bangor’s eighth-grade team for two seasons before being named the high school varsity head coach in late April.
Morris began his football coaching career as a Bangor High assistant from 1989-1993, then coached freshman football at Brewer for three years. He returned to Bangor High as an assistant in 2009 and 2010, and spent the 2015 campaign on the staff.
A panel of judges featuring WNBA all-star Maya Moore and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, along with online voting, will help determine the winning coaches based on the positive impact they have on their players, school and city, as well as their leadership qualities.
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