Morrell has been a high school coach in Georgia for more than 30 years, spending the last eight as the founding coach at Creekview. He led the Grizzlies to a combined 48-25 record, including a 9-2 mark in 2012.
For last year’s campaign, he was named the Cherokee Tribune Football Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Cherokee County Gridiron Club’s Hall of Fame.
Morrell retired after last season but received a call from a coaching colleague that changed his plans.
“Tim McFarlin, the coach at Blessed Trinity, called me and said that there was a job opening that I may be interested in, and it would be a good fit for me,” Morrell said. “I spoke with the administration at Fellowship Christian the next day and I was hired.”
Morrell’s coaching career began after receiving a master’s degree in physical education from the University of Alabama in 1982. He was an assistant coach at Wills High School in Smyrna and later coached the offensive backs coach at Marietta, along with stints at Etowah and Sequoyah.
It was with the Chiefs that he helped lead the team to the playoffs as an offensive coordinator and was named Cherokee County Offensive Coach of the Year in 2004.
After his time as an assistant for longtime Sequoyah coach Sid Maxwell, Morrell was hired to start Creekview’s football program in February 2005.
After many years at larger public schools, Fellowship will present a more unique structure for Morrell to work under.
“I’ve always been interested in working within a smaller school environment that wasn’t so demanding with more than 100 players in your program, like my last stop,” Morrell said. “We’re going to have around 30 players on the roster, and I’m excited to go get to know the kids better in a smaller-knit community.”
The Paladins are in Class A, the smallest classification in the Georgia High School Association, which usually translates to a smaller roster than the larger schools with bigger enrollments. This affects the entire structure of the football program, from practices to the amount of assistant coaches.
“We’re definitely going to practice differently here than at my other schools,” Morrell said. “At Creekview, we had separate offensive and defensive coaching staffs and basically had two practices going on at the same time. Here, I’ll have fewer assistants, each player will have a role on both sides of the ball and you’re going to see more iron-man football.”
Fellowship finished last season with a record of 2-8 but has had successful campaigns in the past, including a school-record 11 wins in 2007 and an appearance in the state quarterfinals. Morrell has begun preparations for the fall by organizing the off-campus workouts at the school’s fitness center.
“My goal this summer is to complete my coaching staff, get the information out to the kids and get more structure in our workouts,” Morrell said, whose first season as the Paladins’ coach will begin Aug. 30 with a home game against Lakeview Academy. “I want the kids here together to work out as a team, start bonding and begin introducing our schemes.”