For the first time in 10 years, Bell County fans will see a new face on the sidelines during basketball games. Lewis Morris, who took over the position in 2007, has resigned as the head coach for the boys basketball team.
Morris said it was a personal decision for him to resign and that “it was time.”
“I’ve been doing it a long time. I’ve got a girl playing at Kentucky, and I’ve been missing some of her games and things. I just felt like it was the right time,” said Morris. “I’ve went through two years with a lot of young players. They will be in good shape the next few years as far as that goes. It was just a personal decision.”
Morris has already addressed the team about his decision.
“I told them they’ll have several different jobs throughout their life, and at times as they get older, they’ll make decisions that they feel is best for them,” said Morris about his conversation with the team. “They understand. It’s just going to give me more time.”
Morris leaves the program with a 163-133 career record. During that stint, he has advanced to the 13th Region tournament six times, won the district title three times and delivered a region title once.
His best year was arguably the 2010-11 season, where the Bobcats finished with a 22-9 record. The team defeated Harlan County in the district championship and went on to win the 13th Region title with a 54-49 victory over Corbin.
During the 2013-14 campaign, Morris and the Bobcats went 21-11 and won the district title. The made a push for a region title but was eliminated in the second round.
This past season, a young Bell County team finished the year with a 13-18 record. The Bobcats were stunned in the opening round of the district tournament with a 49-47 loss to Harlan — a team they beat twice in the regular season.
“I’ve enjoyed it. We’ve had some good years and we’ve had some down years. We’ve had some years where we had some injuries and things,” said Lewis about his time at Bell. “We always played the toughest schedule and competed at a good level. I appreciate all the kids that played for me, and the administration has been wonderful.
“It’s one of those things. I’ve been coaching for a long time at a lot of different places. It was just time to move on. I’m not leaving or anything…I’m just not coaching.”
Morris also showed appreciation to the principal and the superintendent for being helpful and supportive to the kids.
No announcement has been made as to the replacement for Morris.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN