Milligan College (TN)BS Human Performance and Exercise Science
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to my wife, Alicen, since 2016. My wife is from New Port Richey, FL, and I am from Hickory, NC, but we met at college in Tennessee. We have a shepherd/husky mix dog, Lola, who is three years old.
What were you like as a child?
As a child, I couldn't sit still or stop talking. Even though I had a horrible stutter, my constant talking kept getting me in trouble. It wasn't until about fourth grade that one of my teachers, Mrs. Sumpter, finally got to me and instilled lessons that stick to this day. She taught me how to better use my gifts of talking, leadership, and excitement. Even after fourth grade, I was a rambunctious kid who just wanted to have fun in whatever I did, so I tried to make everything a competition (and tried to win!).
Why did you become a teacher?
I was a college basketball coach for three years at my alma mater, Milligan College. When my wife and I moved to Florida, I sensed God telling me it was time to begin teaching kids of all ages and all sports, not just basketball. I wanted to use sports/PE to teach kids that we are given different talents but that we can come together as a team and use our talents for a singular goal!
Who was an influential teacher for you, and why?
I actually had two really fantastic teachers that helped make me into the man I am today. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Sumpter, was my favorite teacher of all time! She was just my teacher for fourth grade, but really she kept teaching me throughout grade school and high school. I would go to her class after school with a few other friends and just hang out and get to know her and her family. It was through her that I found direction in school that I didn't previously have. Another was my PE teacher in middle school, Coach Hefner. Coach Hefner was only my PE teacher for two years, but he has been a mentor for 20+ years. He became my assistant principal after teaching PE and a really close family friend since he had known my father for many years. The tag team between him and my father was astounding. If my brother or I ever started acting up, Coach Hefner would call out our name and then start reciting our dad's office phone number. Of course, the one time I didn't pay attention to the warning, my dad showed up to school soon after, and let's just say it wasn’t the best conversation for third-grade Morgan. If it weren't for Coach Hefner teaching and guiding me, I would not have been given the opportunity to play college basketball or coach at the collegiate level for those three years. He truly taught me from a young age what it meant to be the best man that I could be. Overall, I have had some pretty spectacular teachers, but Mrs. Sumpter and Coach Hefner really stood out from the rest, and my goal is to be as awesome as they were!