Former USC Basketball Coach Takes San Jose Job
Former USC basketball Coach Stan Morrison, who had been the athletic director at UC Santa Barbara since July, 1986, was named today the head coach at San Jose State.
Morrison takes over for Bill Berry, who was fired after a tumultuous 1988-89 season marred by a walkout and boycott by 10 members of the Spartan team. Without the players, the club lost its last 12 games to end the season with a 5-23 mark. Berry had coached the Spartans for 10 years, accumulating a 142-144 overall record.
At a hastily called press conference in Santa Barbara, Morrison said he looked forward to coaching again but would miss his association with the Gauchos.
“The opportunity that has been presented to me by San Jose State is one that I feel I cannot pass by,” he said.
Morrison, 49, spent seven years as the Trojans head coach before resigning after the 1986 season to assume the post of associate athletic director. He guided USC to a 103-95 overall record with his best single season mark coming in 1982 when the Trojans were 19-9.
The Spartan program under Berry, who helped coach Michigan State to the NCAA title in 1979, reached its high point in the 1980 and 1981 seasons. In 1980, the Spartans traveled to the NCAA tournament. For his efforts, Berry was named PCAA Coach of the Year. The next season, San Jose State rolled to a 21-9 record and was invited to the NIT.
This year, Berry’s tightfisted coaching style came under fire from his players. On Nov. 14, a group of 10 players led by starters Steve Haney and Dietrich Waters walked out and claimed they would not return to San Jose State unless Berry was fired. The school supported Berry, and the players never returned to the squad.
On March 25, San Jose State Athletic Director Randy Hoffman announced that Berry had been fired because a post-season evaluation of the coach’s handling of the program had uncovered that just eight of the 46 players he had recruited had graduated.