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Knights Sports

Coach Morris Resignation

Posted Thursday, April 03, 2014 by Michael Morris


CIF SJS Division III Champions 2004
CVC Champions 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2013


I respectfully tender my resignation as the Head Football Coach of the Rio Linda High School Knights, effective Friday, December 20th, 2013.  After 23 years of service, I have made the decision that I am ready to retire.  This retirement is not something that has been suddenly determined but has been something I have been planning for the last two years.  Although I believe that I still could be effective acting as a head coach, I can no longer live up to the expectations and standards that I hold myself responsible to attain.  It is a good time for me to retire.


It has been my great pleasure and honor to serve this program, school, and community in the capacity of Head Football Coach the last 23 years.  I would like to thank the hundreds of people that have helped me these past 23 years.  Administrators, counselors, teachers, classified employees, assistant coaches, volunteers, parents have all played a part in my ability to enjoy the great occupation that I sought out so many years ago.


There are three other groups that I must thank separately.


One is the many players that have given me a life of fulfillment.  They have caused me to smile, cry, laugh, be anxious, be angry, but most of all to be proud.  So many young players came out for football looking for guidance, a challenge, or simply to enjoy the sport.  I can only hope they received some of the joy that I experienced being able to help them grow as players, athletes, students and people.


The second are my assistants, in particular Mike Fox.  Mike came over with me from Foothill in 1991 and has been one of my best friends, my most loyal assistant and someone I can always beat at golf!


The other is my family.  My wife, Debbie, has endured the sacrifices necessary for me to do this job correctly these many years while always loving me and showing respect for the time it took away from her and our family.  My two sons, Michael and Matthew, have sacrificed by living with a father that spent much of his time helping other people’s children as young athletes.  We learned as a family that we needed to redefine family time and to make the most of every moment.  Most of all, we learned, over the years, to make this program OUR program.    We made it work and I am thankful for their support.


Please forgive me while I list some of my history and accomplishments over the 23 years.


I started this 30 year career as football coach as a young volunteer freshmen assistant at San Juan High School.  I coached the lineman that first year and we finished undefeated!  The following two years I was a JV assistant and was given the responsibility of defensive coordinator.


I then served as a varsity assistant the next four years for Frank Negri at Foothill High School.  In 1991, with the encouragement of Coach Negri, I sought out a head coaching position.  I applied for the position at Oakmont High School, but did not receive and interview.  I next applied for the position at Lincoln High School, interviewed but was not chosen.  In early August I interviewed and was offered the Head Coaching position at Rio Linda.


Up until 1991, Rio Linda High School, which opened in 1962, had enjoyed one co-championship and one play-off appearance (1969) which they lost.  They had also endured a losing streak that extended over 20 games.


In my 23 years we have 148 wins, 103 losses, and one tie.  In 20 years of belonging to the CVC we were 80-24-1, won 7 championships, and were undefeated in conference play three times.  We appeared in the playoffs 13 times, reached the semi-finals five times, the finals twice, and won the CIF SJS Division III Championship in 2004.


I was selected the Sacramento Bee’s Coach of the Year in 2004, received the National Football Foundation’s “Red Smith” Award in 2005, was chosen to coach the North Optimist Team in 2007 and again in 2013, and was pleased to speak at several football coaching clinics.


I have also enjoyed being involved in the many upgrades to our facility over the years.  The weight room was a portable too small and eventually condemned and we now enjoy a beautiful modern training facility.  Our stadium was grass with no lights with team rooms small and uncomfortable.  Now we play in one of the more beautiful stadiums in our area with a modern snack bar and team rooms.


Lastly, it all comes full circle.  Tomorrow I will receive the State level Model Coach award in Carson California at the State Championship Bowl game that includes my alma mater, Enterprise High School.  There will be many in attendance that I went to high school with including some of my old coaches.  And next week I will coach my son, Matthew, in his last high school game as part of the Optimist All Star North team and Frank Negri will be one of my assistants, the man who pointed me in this direction.


My mother taught me to leave a place better than I found it.  I think I have done that here.


Yours respectfully,


Michael Morris

Head Football Coach

Athletic Director 

Rio Linda High School

“Excellence is a habit”

Rio Linda High School

6309 Dry Creek Road  Rio Linda, California  95673       

916-566-2725  fax – 916-263-6462

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