April 6, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State's men's basketball coach Stew Morrill announced Monday morning that he is no longer a candidate for the head coaching position at Washington State University.
Morrill, who signed a contract extension with Utah State through the 2014-15 season prior to the 2008-09 campaign, met with officials from Washington State Sunday afternoon.
"I have not and will not pursue other coaching jobs," Morrill stated. "Washington State contacted me and I think it was understood all along that I have deep roots here and it would be very difficult for us to leave Utah State University, Cache Valley and the state of Utah."
Morrill just concluded his 11th season at Utah State, leading the Aggies to a school record 30-5 mark and USU's 18th NCAA Tournament appearance all-time. In his 11 years at Utah State, Morrill has become the school's all-time winningest coach (267-91) and has led the program to 10-straight 23-win seasons and 10-straight postseason appearances (6-NCAA, 4-NIT), both of which are school records. Furthermore, USU has the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation during the last 10 years (.764), and is one of just three programs across the country to win 23-plus games in each of the last 10 seasons.
During the 2008-09 season, Morrill guided Utah State to the best start to a season in school history with a 24-1 record, its second national ranking in the last 31 years, and its second-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season title as USU went 14-2 in league play. The Aggies then won its first-ever WAC Tournament championship with a 72-62 win at Nevada in the title game.
Morrill was named the WAC's Coach of the Year following the regular season, marking the fourth time he has been named conference, including his third at USU.
Utah State's accomplishments on the court under Morrill has translated into 11 of his players being named first-team all-conference a total of 16 times, including at least one first-team all-league player in each of the last 10 seasons. He also coached the WAC's Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons in Jaycee Carroll (2008) and Gary Wilkinson (2009).
Along with all of its success on the court, Utah State has been just as successful in the classroom under Morrill as nearly 85 percent of his players have received degrees from USU. Morrill also had four players earn academic all-WAC honors in 2008 and Aggie players have earned a total of 16 academic all-conference honors during his 10 years at the helm.
In 23 years of collegiate coaching, Morrill owns a 485-229 (.679) record. He was 97-52 (.651) in five years at Montana (1987-91), 121-86 (.585) in seven years at Colorado State (1992-98), and is 267-91 (.746) in 11 years at Utah State (1999-2009).
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