Former Miami Hurricanes baseball head coach Jim Morris was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Morris discovered that he had been elected into the hall’s 2020 class on Wednesday morning upon receiving a call from the College Baseball Foundation’s President and CEO Mike Gustafson.
Coach of the Year. Conference Champion. National Champion and now... Hall of Famer.— Miami Hurricanes (@MiamiHurricanes) August 6, 2020
Congrats to @Coach3morris on his induction into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame! pic.twitter.com/HQlynbY3ae
Having been the head coach of the Hurricanes’ baseball program for 25 seasons, Morris was overjoyed to be one of the 12 members honored. “It’s something to be included among all the great coaches as a Hall of Famer and I’m so deeply honored,” Morris said. “It was a long journey filled with a lot of games, but I’m honored to be in this position today. I couldn’t have done it without the help of so many people, from players and coaches to administrators, and of course, my family.”
Miami director of athletics Blake James could not have been more thrilled for the two-time national champion. “There is perhaps no more fitting honor for Coach Morris than to be named a member of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame,” James said. “Coach is college baseball. Over more than five decades in the game, he established a standard of excellence and impacted programs, coaches and players across the nation. While Coach Morris is synonymous with the University of Miami for his success on the field, he was so much than that to our University.”
A North Carolina native, Morris had come to Miami after serving as the Georgia Tech head coach for 12 years, looking to continue his successes after his tenure in Atlanta. He had led the Yellow Jackets to four consecutive ACC Championships from 1985 through 1988, becoming the school’s all-time leader in coaching victories.
Morris was ready to do whatever it took to keep the tradition and successes of the Hurricanes’ baseball program alive, learning from the “Wizard of College Baseball” himself in former coach Ron Fraser. “Jim came to me wanting to learn. He not only wanted to know why we did the things we do at Miami, but how to do it in a first-class manner,” Fraser said.
Since taking over in 1994, Morris and the ‘Canes remain the only program in college baseball history to have qualified the most times for the College World Series. Miami saw themselves competing in Omaha in 11 of Morris’ first 15 seasons in Coral Gables.
Current head coach Gino DiMare had spent almost 20 years on Morris’ coaching staff as an assistant, having witnessed Morris’ passion for The U for so long. “He said coming to Miami was the best decision he ever made in his career, and it’d be hard to disagree with that,” DiMare said. “He went to Omaha in his first six years here and won his first championship in that sixth year and then won another one in 2001. And he could have won three championships if not for that heartbreaking loss in ’96 to LSU. But he was able to bounce back and win it three years later and then win it again a couple years after that.”
Those trips to Omaha eventually culminated in two national championships in 1999 and 2001, as the three-time national coach of the year finished his coaching career at Miami with over 1,500 wins.