Longtime Miami Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris may have retired from the playing field, but he’s still imparting decades’ worth of sports wisdom in the classroom.
7Sports caught up last week with Morris away from his familiar surroundings at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. These days he’s carrying backpack on his shoulder, but he still wears one of his championship rings.
“I promise you that your son will get a degree from the University of Miami if he does what we tell him to do,” he told students during a class.
Morris said he uses the same approach in the classroom that he once used on the diamond. As UM’s head baseball coach from 1994 to 2018, he won two College World Series titles. Both times, he was named the National Coach of the Year.
“I feel like I am giving back to the university. I tell the students from my class that I’m doing this for them,” he said. “I’m doing it to try to help them in their lives, deciding what to do, so my class is a little bit different. It exposes a lot of things to them.”
In the classroom, his students call him Professor Morris. The class he teaches is sports management.
“He teaches us how to conduct ourselves in a professional manner,” said student Hayley Tesser. “He’ll tell us to have a Plan B. He gives us really good life advice in general outside of the sports industry, but that can be applied to sports.”
All of these students, including athletes, said they want to be involved in some aspect of sports after college.
“He expects us to be professional. He expects us to be on time, and it’s really no different than in the real world,” said student Austin Pert, “because if you’re late to practice, if you’re late to anything, things aren’t going to go your way, so you learn that first hand.”
Morris, 70, admitted that, after racking up nearly 1,100 wins on the field for Miami, this environment poses a different challenge.
“I’m a rookie again, so it’s something that is a learning process for me,” he said. “This first semester, and then the second semester is different. I learned a lot from one to two.”
Until his retirement two years ago, Morris had been involved in baseball as a coach since 1975.
“I’m used to having a game plan in class. I figure a three-hour class that I’ve prepared, and then I normally talk about for about 10 hours,” he said. “If you want to be involved in athletics, my class aims to help them look at all the different areas and be able to expose them and talk to them about the good and the bad.”
When Morris is on campus and he’s not in the classroom, he can be found at Mark Light Field sitting right behind home plate to watch some of the players he once coached.