Madison football coach Patric Morrison coaching the Cubs in 2018. (Courier file photo by David Campbell)
Madison football coach Patric Morrison coaching the Cubs in 2018. (Courier file photo by David Campbell)
Madison’s Patric Morrison is trading in his coach’s whistle for an administrator’s pen and will move into the role of assistant athletic director at Madison Consolidated High School starting this fall.

Morrison, a 2006 graduate of Madison, has spent the last six years as head football coach at the school, a job he landed just four years after graduating from Hanover College. He will replace Patrick Maschino, who is returning to the classroom after two years as assistant AD.

For Morrison, leaving the sidelines was a difficult choice to make. It had always been his dream to be a head football coach and while there were plenty of ups and downs, he said he’s enjoyed every minute of it.

But the chance to move into administration proved to be too good of an opportunity to pass up. And after four agonizing days, he finally made the decision to leave football coaching for the administrative job.

“I’m excited about this new chapter in my life,” Morrison said Monday. “It’s going to be different and I’m going to miss coaching. I loved being a coach and I loved my players. It was a real bittersweet decision. But I also know that this is a really good chance and I can’t wait to get started.”

When Maschino made the decision to return to the classroom, Madison athletic director Joe Bronkella knew who we wanted to take over the position. Morrison has served as a “seasonal AD” at the school for the past five years, helping run events in the winter and spring seasons and Bronkella knew he was more than qualified to move into the role full time.

“The first person that I could think of that would be a great replacement and a great person to step in was Mr. Morrison,” Bronkella said. “He’s well-connected, he’s very good with organization, he’s very good PR stuff. Every category I’m looking at, he fits it, a perfect mold. It does present a tough search for a football coach, especially this late in the season, but with him and his connection, and me, I think we have the right guidance to be able to get a good replacement and pick up right where he left off.”

Morrison’s record in six seasons at Madison was only 14-47, but a look beyond just those numbers present a better indication of his true success with the program. The 14 wins represent the fifth-highest total among the 12 coaches in Madison history and his .230 winning percentage is also fifth-highest. The three coaches prior to Morrison combined to win just 15 games in 10 years and the Cubs had just 20 wins in the 13 years prior to Morrison’s arrival.

In 2014, Madison was 6-5 to post just the eighth winning season since the school reinstated football in 1960, and the program’s first winning campaign since 1992. His 2013 squad scored 211 points, the fifth-highest in school history, and the following year the Cubs collected 210 points. His team’s authored the second, third and fourth most points scored in a single game and a 42-3 rout of Bedford North Lawrence in 2013 was the eighth-biggest win in school history and highest winning margin in 23 years.

But Morrison wasn’t interested in just wins and losses.

His work with the team in the community made him a 2018 Indiana Youth Institutes D. Susan Wisely Youth Worker of the Year Finalist and he was twice named Indiana Football Coaches Association Region 10 Coach of The Week. He had 23 players named to the all-Hoosier Hills Conference team, 49 players named to the all-HHC academic team, seven players named IFCA Academic All-State, two players named to the Indianapolis Colts Academic All-Star Team and the IFCA All-State Team and one player named an IFCA Region 10 All-Star and to the Indiana Football South All-Star Team.

As a former player at Madison, Morrison knew what he was getting into when it took the job and understood that turning the program around was not going to happen in one season — or even six.

“I set a bunch of goals for myself when I took the job and the only one I didn’t reach was that I wanted to play for a sectional championship,” Morrison said. “I think this team (next year) has every bit of the capability to do that.

“I’ve put a lot of focus on academics. I’ve had a lot of kids honored. We’ve gotten the numbers up, with a high of 72 one year but we’re always in the 50s and 60s. I think the program is in really good shape and I think this is an attractive job to coaches coming in,” Morrison said.

Bronkella said the football job will be posted Wednesday morning and while he is hopeful that the job may be filled before school ends on May 30, he more realistically hopes to have a new coach by mid-June.

In the meantime, Morrison will continue to serve as football coach, getting the team ready for the summer and running the squad for as long as needed. Morrison will also serve on the search committee to find his replacement.

“I told my players today that while I’m no longer going to be their coach, I’ll still be the GM,” Morrison said with a laugh. “I’ll still be around and I’ll miss every minute of it, but I’m excited to be a part of all of the sports at Madison, not just one. It’s going to be a fun challenge.”