PCHS baseball hires Eric Morgan
Following a lengthy search that began at the end of the 2014-15 school year, the Park City High School baseball team has found a new coach.
Eric Morgan, a 2005 graduate of Skyline High School in Salt Lake City, will take over for former coach Lou Green, who left the team after the 2015 season. The 28-year-old said he wants to continue the upward trend Park City enjoyed under Green.
"The past coach did a great job building this program," he said. "It almost seems as if it’s becoming a baseball town up here. That’s what really excites me — the community getting involved. I feel like I’m walking into a great position here."
Morgan, who played at Utah State University Eastern in Price and later at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, said he hopes to remain competitive in a year after the Miners lost key contributors like Scott Stokes, Chandler Anderson and Chandler Barkdull.
"I know that we’re going to be young," he said. "We have four seniors and about four juniors. It’s always hard to lose a lot of key seniors, but I’m here to help the sophomores, juniors, seniors, even freshmen — if they can contribute, it doesn’t matter. I’m here to find the best nine guys to build the team."
Morgan said he wants the Miners to be a gritty, hard-working squad. He said his coaching experience, most recently as an assistant at Skyline last year, has led him to develop a style based on accountability and hard work.
"I might be a younger guy, but I’m an old-school coach," he said. "You work your butt off on the field, you play hard and you’re disciplined. I’d like to establish those philosophies. Lou’s done a great job building this program, so I’m just going to step in and continue it."
Morgan acknowledged the number of players who moved on to college baseball during Green’s tenure and said he hopes to keep that trend going.
"That’s very important," he said. "I believe that, if you want to play college ball, there’s a spot for you. Whether it’s DI, DII, DIII, junior college or NAIA, there are so many different schools out there. If you truly want to play college baseball, I will get you there."
One challenge Morgan will face is reuniting the two youth baseball programs in Park City — the Avalanche and the Skullcandy Crushers. Tensions between the two programs have been high in recent years, but Morgan hopes to bring the programs back together.
"I don’t care if [the kids] go to Skullcandy or the Avalanche," he said. "If they’re making players better, that’s all that matters. I hope we can build back that relationship. It’s such a small community — there’s one high school to go to up here — that there shouldn’t be a rivalry. I’m not a drama guy. I stay away from drama. I don’t care what happened in the past. I just hope, in some way, we can build those two youth programs back into one because that’s only going to help the high-school program."
Though Morgan has a tough task ahead of him replacing all the production lost from last year’s varsity squad, he’s excited to get started. He held his first practice as head coach on Thursday afternoon.
"A lot of guys went on to play college ball [from last year’s team]," he said. "But, for me, it’s about finding the right guys to step up this year, even if they’re freshmen or sophomores."
The Park City High School girls golf team took second in the Class 4A state championship tournament on Thursday. It was the team’s fifth consecutive time as runner-up.