The Mississippi Valley State Department of Athletics announces that University of North Alabama defensive coordinator Karl Morgan has been named the head football coach at Mississippi Valley State University. Morgan takes over the program from Willie Totten, who spent eight seasons at the helm and stepped down November 30.
“After an open search with candidates from across the nation, we are pleased to have Karl Morgan as the newest football coach at Mississippi Valley State” said interim director of athletics Donald R. Sims. “We now hope that Morgan can take the reins of the program and guide the Devils into this new decade.”
A veteran of both high school and collegiate coaching, Morgan has spent the previous five seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of North Alabama.
Morgan has 21 years of coaching experience including stints as defensive line coach at Nicholls State, Southern University, Purdue University and Arkansas State University. He has also served as defensive coordinator at Alcorn State University, Hampton University and the University of North Alabama. At UNA, the team has amassed an 84-26 record and a NCAA Division II quarterfinalist in 2006, 2007 and 2009 in addition to being a NCAA Division II semifinalist in 2005 and 2008. In 2008, his defensive unit forced 44 turnovers. He is a former defensive lineman with the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1984-86) and the Saskatchewan Roughriders (1983) of the Canadian Football League.
MVSU Head Football Coach Karl Morgan
Veteran collegiate coach and former UCLA standout Karl Morgan was introduced as the 15th head coach at Mississippi Valley State University on January 11, 2010. He comes to MVSU after serving five seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of North Alabama.
Over the last five seasons Morgan has helped lead UNA to a combined 55-10 record that includes a Gulf South Conference Championship and four NCAA playoff berths. With Morgan as defensive coordinator, the Lions have a plus 82 turnover margin in the 65 games he has coached at North Alabama.
Last season, in 2009, the Lions finished with an 11-2 record and participated in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs.. The University of North Alabama placed four players on the 2009 Daktronics, Inc. All-American first team and the 2009 Associated Press Little All- America Team, led by first-team selections Michael Johnson and Montrell Craft. Johnson, a senior linebacker from Panama City, Fla., and Craft, a senior defensive lineman, were both four-year lettermen for the Lions, made the UNA Team of the Decade for 1999-2008 and had tremendous senior seasons. Johnson was also named the Ron Lenz National Defensive Player of the Year. UNA was sixth in the nation in pass efficiency defense, 11th in scoring defense and turnover margin 26th in pass defense.
In 2008, the Lions went 12-2 and reached the semifinals of the Division II playoffs. The UNA defense forced the most turnovers in the nation with 44 and picked off the most passes (32). UNA ranked fourth in the nation in turnover margin, seventh in pass efficiency defense and 14th in scoring defense (17.36). A total of seven UNA defenders earned All-GSC honors, including linemen Montrell Craft and Derrick Chatman.
In 2007 the Lions went 10-2 and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs behind a defense that ranked seventh nationally in turnovers gained and 25th in scoring defense.
In 2006 UNA was 11-1, won the GSC title and reached the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs. The Lion defense ranked ninth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 13.8 points per game. Five Lion defenders earned All-GSC honors.
In 2005 Morgan’s defense at UNA ranked among the NCAA Division II national leaders in every category and helped the Lions post an 11-3 record and reach the semifinals of the Division II playoffs. The UNA defense recovered 20 fumbles and intercepted 21 passes as the Lions had a +19 turnover margin. Four UNA defenders received All-Gulf South Conference honors following the season, with defensive back Blake Farris named to four All-America teams. Farris and defensive lineman Lee Vickers both signed with National Football League teams following the season.
Prior to coming to North Alabama, Morgan coached at Hampton (Va.) University and Alcorn State (Miss.) University. Morgan also spent four seasons as the defensive line coach at Arkansas State University. Prior to his appointment with the Indians, he was the defensive line coach at Purdue University.
Morgan got his start in coaching as the head football coach at Central Catholic High School in Morgan City, Louisiana from 1989 to 1992. He then entered the college ranks and served as the defensive line coach at Nicholls State University from 1993 to 1994.
During the 1995 season, Morgan was the defensive line coach at Southern University. His defensive line was part of a unit that helped to lead the Jaguars to a 11-1 record en route to the Black College National Championship.
During his playing days, the Houma, Louisiana native was a nose guard at UCLA and was a four-year letterwinner with the Bruins. He was the defensive captain of the 1983 Rose Bowl championship team. During his career with the Bruins, Morgan recorded 35 tackles for loss and 17 quarterback sacks. He was a two-time recipient of the Henry R. “Red” Sanders Trophy for Most Valuable Defensive Player at UCLA. Morgan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from UCLA in 1984.
Morgan played professional football with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League in 1983. He was also drafted by the Arizona Wranglers of the United States Football League. He then played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League from 1984 to 1986 and also played with the Houston Oilers in 1986. In 1992 he played Arena football with the Cincinnati Rockers.
MORGAN’S COACHING EXPERIENCE
Years Position School
1989-92 Head Coach Central Catholic (La.)
1993-94 Assistant Coach Nicholls State
1995 Assistant Coach Southern University
1996 Assistant Coach Purdue
1997-00 Assistant Coach Arkansas State
2001 Def. Coordinator Alcorn State
2002-04 Def. Coordinator Hampton University
2005-09 Def. Coordinator U of North Alabama
2010 Head Coach Mississippi Valley State