As a football program, Morgan State realistically has a lot of work to do on its journey back to being one of the preeminent HBCU programs in the country.
The Bears on Friday took a step in that direction by hiring longtime successful CIAA head coach Damon Wilson.
Wilson, the 23rd coach in school history, comes to Morgan State after 13 seasons at Division II Bowie State where he compiled an 89-45 record to go along with three CIAA tiles. He most recently led the Bulldogs to the Division II postseason quarterfinal round.
“The best indicator of future success is past success,” said Morgan State president David K. Wilson during the introductory press conference in reference to what criteria would be at the forefront of the school’s search. “We did not want to go through a period of experimentation. “We have in our football coach a winner … a proven winner.”
Wilson, who was named the American Football Coaches Association Division II Coach of the Year following the 2021 season, said moving from familiar surroundings was difficult but “the timing was right.”
“Morgan has a rich history from an academic standpoint, as well as football,” he said. “Athletically they have had a lot of great years and I want to bring that back.”
Wilson replaces Tyrone Wheatley, who led the Bears to a 5-18 overall record and 3-10 MEAC performance over three seasons before accepting a coaching job with the Denver Broncos.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Wilson. “I can’t sleep at night just putting pieces together because the guys I’ve met so far, they’ve been outstanding.”
Dena Freeman-Patton, the newly minted Morgan State athletic director, had been reminded of what Morgan State once was and could be again with the right person at the helm.
“I know that pressure is on us,” Freeman-Patton said. “(Wilson) meets all of those criteria, a proven winner. And that’s what we need. He also can build a program.”