Allen Morgan begins his fifth year as Carson-Newman's Director of Athletics. He was named to the position on March 12, 2012, and officially began his duties May 1, 2012.
Year four on the job for Morgan resulted in record increased in the Eagle Scholars program and unprecedented success on the field of competition. Carson-Newman was the only program in the country to send its volleyball, men's soccer, women's soccer and football teams to NCAA postseason play. On top of that, the Eagles' had their highest ever finish in the Learfield Director's Cup standings.
Carson-Newman saw a trio of teams earn SAC titles while eight clubs went on to NCAA tournament play in Morgan's third year at Mossy Creek. Softball won its first outright title since 2005 and its 14th overall while the men's basketball program earned its first ever back-to-back NCAA tournament bids with a SAC tournament title win over #3 LMU. Volleyball, women's basketball, men's and women's swimming and outdoor and indoor track and field to go along with softball all made postseason play.
Year two saw Carson-Newman make four appearances in NCAA postseason events (football, men's basketball, men's golf and men's soccer's run to the national title game). Morgan also hired a new men's golf coach in Randy Wylie. Wylie's first tournament was the 2014 SAC Championship. He only guided C-N to its first conference title in a decade.
In his first year on the job, Morgan oversaw the start of Carson-Newman’s swimming program. He also hired a former LPGA player in Suzanne Strudwick to helm the women’s golf program and a two-time Olympian in Tony Parrilla to coach cross country and assist with track and field.
Morgan replaced David Barger, now Athletics Director Emeritus, who spent 32 years at Carson-Newman.
A 1968 C-N alumnus and trustee, Morgan retired from a long career in education, culminating in his service as superintendent of Knox County Schools from 1992-98. The system’s last elected superintendent (1992), he oversaw its transition to an appointed position when the Board of Education hired him to continue the job in 1996. He oversaw more than 50,000 students and some 7000 employees at 91 schools, and was selected Superintendent of the Year in 1997 by Tennessee’s State PTA.
Morgan’s 22 years of public school administration included three years as assistant principal of Karns High School and 13 years as principal of Powell High School. His commitment to professional excellence and student growth led Powell to be the first Knox County School named “BEST” by the Greater Knoxville Chamber of Commerce; it was one of just four Tennessee high schools to be named a finalist in the National Schools Recognition Program (1990-91). Beyond academic excellence, he led PHS through an extensive renovation program during his tenure.
Upon his retirement from Knox County, the 1964 Carter High School graduate joined Clayton Homes as president of CMH Parks, its communities and subdivision group. In that capacity for a decade, he directed the efforts of almost 300 employees and led the development of some 22,000 homes in communities across the country.
Morgan entered C-N in the fall of 1964 as a freshman baseball player and was part of the team that won the 1965 NAIA National Championship, the institution’s first athletic national title. He coached baseball at Powell before taking the school’s helm as principal.
C-N’s AD is married to Phyllis Mitchell Morgan, who retired after 30 years as an elementary school teacher. The Morgans are active members of Knoxville’s Wallace Memorial Baptist Church. Their son Chris is a 1997 grad of Carson-Newman. He is married to Melanie and together the couple has a daughter, Collins.
Since joining the South Atlantic Conference (SAC), Carson-Newman has brought home 76 conference titles spread across 19 sports.
Fourteen sports have advanced to NCAA Tournament play in the last decade, led by seven-straight NCAA Tournament appearances by women’s soccer, men’s soccer, and softball. The women’s soccer team reached the Final Four in both 2004 and 2005.
For three decades, Carson-Newman’s football program has been a national powerhouse. The Eagles have won five national championships, played for nine, and recently reached the NCAA Semifinals in 2009, a game televised nationally on ESPN.
In 2013, Morgan helped found the Eagle Scholars program, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the South Atlantic Conference, which is dedicated toward recognizing Carson-Newman student athletes for their efforts in the classroom. The program has seen a 72 percent increase in students attaining a 3.25 GPA or higher since its first year inception. At the same time, Carson-Newman has cut the number of athletes on probation from 44 in 2012 to a mere four as of the fall of 2015.