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What They're Saying: Jim Morris Elected to National College Baseball Hall of Fame

Blake James, Miami Director of Athletics

“There is perhaps no more fitting honor for Coach Morris than to be named a member of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. 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 more than that to our University. On behalf of the entire UM family, I congratulate Coach, his wife, Nhan, and their family on this well-deserved honor.”

 

Gino DiMare, Miami head baseball coach

“This is absolutely well deserved. He’s one of the all-time great coaches and I’ve said many times his career, in my opinion, has mirrored coach Fraser’s in so many ways in terms of their statistics. They both won two championships and they both won over 1000 games. One coached for 30 years in Fraser and the other for 25 years at Miami in coach Morris and coach Morris coached for 41 years. How many guys have coached for 41 years in college baseball? He coached 25 at Miami, he coached 12 at Georgia Tech and he coached four more at DeKalb College. To have that sustained consistency is the most impressive thing.”

“He was successful in every place he was starting with the four years at DeKalb. For 12 years at Georgia Tech, he did a great job with that program and put it really at the top. I’ve heard the story many times where they never finished above last before he got there and then, of course, he turned that program around. And when he left, it was arguably one of the best teams in the country and he came to Miami.”

“He said coming to Miami was the best decision he ever made in his career, and it’d be hard to disagree with that. 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. I don’t even know how you deal with that and how that affects you. People have no idea as a head coach losing on the last pitch and you have one out to go, you have no idea how that can affect you. But he was able to bounce back and win it three years later and then win it again a couple years after that.”

“Coach’s career, I think, is one of the best coaching careers in college baseball. This Hall of Fame induction is well deserved and I’m certainly very, very happy for him.”

 

J.D. Arteaga, Miami pitching coach, 2003-Present, Left-handed Pitcher, 1994-97

“I’m surprised it took this long, but it’s something that’s long overdue and well deserved. It’s something that he’s been working at since he was 23 years old and he was a head coach in the college level. He’s very deserving and I’m very happy for him.”

“I remember him talking about how early in his coaching career he felt that his job was to get players to the big leagues. And he said he learned very quickly that most of his guys were not going to play in the big leagues, so he moved his focus to developing men and school being number one in the priority list and graduating and giving kids a chance to be more successful outside of baseball. And along the way he had some really good players that he helped develop to become big leaguers, but that wasn’t always the number one goal. For a guy like me, I could not be more thankful that he gave me the opportunity to play first and then the opportunity to be a coach and that allows me to provide financially for my family.”

 

Zack Collins, Catcher, 2014-16

“I just wanted to say congratulations on being inducted into the Hall of Fame. It’s an awesome accomplishment, you deserve every bit of it and I appreciate everything you did for me in my college career.”

 

Paco Figueroa, Infielder, 2002-05

“Knowing his story and his career, it’s been an unbelievable career, even before UM. To follow The Wizard was no easy task and he did just that.”

“I tell everybody I learned to play the game of baseball from coach Morris. From structure and preparation to accountability, I learned it from “3” and I use it everyday. He was a great teacher. He taught not only baseball, he taught the game of life. Those are the things that carry on and coach Morris’ players have been successful in baseball, in business, in life and with their families.”

“From The Wizard to “3” to and now continuing with Gino, Hurricanes Baseball has been and continues to be in the very best of hands.”

 

Mike Fiore, Outfielder, 1985-88

“Jim’s impact on college baseball has been monumental, not just at UM, but at Georgia Tech. His style of play and his ability to not only win baseball games, but to win off the field, is exceptional.”

“Speaking from the UM standpoint, he enhanced the legacy of college coaching through what he did at Miami. And he enhanced the legacy of what Coach Fraser did at Miami, as well as the many great players that played at the University of Miami.”

 

Bryan Garcia, Right-handed Pitcher, 2014-16

“Congrats on getting inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Thank you for all the help throughout all these years and for blessing me with the opportunity to be a Miami Hurricane.”

 

Wicho Hernandez, Infielder, 1991-94

“The first thing that comes to mind is that it’s hard to think of UM and Hurricanes Baseball without the names of coach Ron Fraser and coach Jim Morris.”

“For the longest time coach Fraser has been recognized as The Wizard of College Baseball, and deservedly so. And then coach Morris took the Number 1 program in college baseball, and while respecting what coach Fraser did, in his own unique way for the next 25 years, coach Morris still found a way to take the program to the next level.”

 

Javy Rodriguez, Infielder, 1999-2002

“Coach Morris – he’s a winner and he’s a perfectionist. The guys trusted him. I remember the way he ran things in practice. We didn’t stop until we got it right. And if he felt it was needed, it would be on the practice schedule again the next day.”

“The way we practiced is the way we played and that’s what created so many winning seasons and championships for so many programs. He was always looking to perfect the system he had and his plan is what got him into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.”

“Coach Morris put his players into a position to succeed. For me and for a few guys, we had the green light (to steal a base). The only sign he gave me was the “do not steal” sign (laughing). He rarely gave that, it was only in certain situations, but somehow he knew when not to go …and usually it was a pitchout. He went by his book, but he also had a gut feeling and he usually was right.”

“I learned a lot from him about baseball and about life. I walked into his office one day and he had a bunch of papers on his desk. I asked him what he was working on. He told me he was making his personal budget for the coming year. Coach Morris was a comprehensive planner. He showed me how he did it, and I do it in much the same way to this day.”

 

Alex Santos, Right-handed Pitcher, 1997-99

“’3’ epitomized what a true leader and first-class head coach at the college level should be and has been at the University of Miami following the great Ron Fraser. And we shouldn’t forget that prior to Miami, coach Morris also built a great program at Georgia Tech. “3” knew what it meant to follow in coach Fraser’s footsteps. He was always honored to be part of the Miami baseball program and he emphasized what it meant to be a Miami Hurricane. He really drove it home for us: The legacy and tradition, and how important it was to carry the torch not only for those who came before us, but for those who would come after us.”

“Coach Morris taught boys how to become better baseball players on the field, better students in the classroom, and how to be better men in society and with our families.”

 

Alex Toral, Infielder, 2018-Present

“Congrats on being inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame and thank you for giving me the opportunity to live out my dream of becoming a Miami Hurricane.”

 

Jay Rokeach, Miami Baseball Public Address Announcer, 1968-present

“It’s a great honor that Jim Morris is going to be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s had a storied career at the University of Miami, leading the Hurricanes to two National Championships and developing hundreds of talented student-athletes who have gone on to represent Miami with pride and distinction. He has maintained the history and tradition of the celebrated baseball program that was begun by another Hall of Fame coach, Ron Fraser, The Wizard of College Baseball.”

“Jim has been a great guardian of the program in his 25 years at The U and will certainly be remembered as one of the most accomplished and finest coaches in the history of the game. This is a great honor at the University of Miami and for the Hurricanes baseball program. It’s just wonderful to have Jim join the other five Hurricanes who have been inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.”