University of Alberta graduate and Edmonton Eskimo Wall of Honour Member Chris Morris was named the new head football coach of the Golden Bears.
"The set of circumstances that exist here at the University of Alberta is what is really appealing to me," said Morris. "There really is a wealth of talent in Northern Alberta, and a tremendous opportunity to develop the sport of football in the city and province with the Golden Bears program. I've had the pleasure of coaching in the high school ranks for the past five years, so I've seen the talent, and know that there is a huge opportunity for the Golden Bears football program to become successful. I'm excited to empower others, to work with people and football organizations to turn this program around and into something that the university deserves and can be proud of."
Morris, originally from Scarborough, Ont., takes over a program that hasn't won a Canada West conference title since 1981, and has missed the playoffs in seven of the past 12 seasons while putting together a record of 38-58 (.395), including 0-8 in 2012.
"Sometimes people over complicate success, but what I've found, in every phase of my life, is that success comes down to out-working the people you're in competition with. And I don't mean the players have to work harder, because it really starts from the top and moves down. If this program is going to become the top program in CIS, then as the head coach of this program, I have to out-work every other CIS head coach. One of the most important jobs I'll have as head coach is to set the standard, to be the example. Once I've done that, then I have to put people in place who can have their hard work pay off so we can be successful together."
He is a two-time CIS all-Canadian while playing for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, and he won the J.P. Metras Trophy as the most outstanding down lineman in the country in 1990. He also played in the East-West Shrine Bowl before getting drafted in the first round (8th overall) of the 1992 Canadian Football League draft by the Edmonton Eskimos. He started in his rookie season, and played an additional 14 seasons, or 237 games for the Eskimos. He was a team captain, and he played in five Grey Cup games with the Esks, winning three and was given a plaque on the Eskimos' Wall of Honour in Commonwealth Stadium in 2008.