Morris, who became on of the most successful coaches in Southern California by leading Redondo Union High School, has been named a Lions' assistant coach and will oversee all recruiting while Hays makes the move to assistant coach from the operations position, taking on more player development and recruiting roles.
"Reggie is one of the most respected coaches in the country and he will help us move forward as a program," said Head Coach Mike Dunlap. "He is a great mentor and loves to teach. I am excited to be working with him on our staff."
Morris earned his 300th career victory in 2015-16 and has led the Sea Hawks to the CIF State Champions the last three seasons, falling to Crespi in overtime, 66-63, at the Regional Finals. They finished 28-7 overall and 9-1 in league play, ranking 13th nationally and fourth in the state of California. He finishes his tenure at 321-116.
"Growing up in this area and being a local guy, LMU has always been considered home for me," said Morris. "I am excited to be on this campus and be part of this staff. They have so much experience, I look forward to the challenge and opportunity to grow as a coach, to get better and help this program become great."
For Morris, developing young men and becoming a mentor is why he is in coaching. He has coached superstars like NBA players Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Dorell Wright (Portland Trailblazers), numerous college players and those whose basketball careers will end in high school.
"I'm definitely proud of the guys that I've coached, not just the ones who are really good, but the ones that are doing well for themselves and making a living and going to school," Morris said. "Just to see people do good is all I want to see."
Coaching basketball is in Morris' blood, following the footsteps of his father, Reggie Sr. They are the only father-son combination to win a high school basketball state championship in California history. Reggie Sr. coached Manual Arts (Los Angeles) to the Division I state championship in 1988, posting a 27-3 record and earning a national No. 6 ranking by USA Today. Reggie Jr. returned the compliment in 2012-13 by guiding Redondo Union to a 28-8 record and the Division II state title.
For three years Morris was a reserve guard under the tutelage of Ed Azzam, one of the nation's premier prep coaches, at nearby Westchester High School. He played his final year under his father at Locke High School, averaging 15 points while earning all-league honors before graduating in 1996.
After playing two years under his father at Los Angeles Southwest College, he received a scholarship to Howard University. He majored in history.
After graduating from Howard in 2001, he worked a year as a graduate assistant for legendary Jim Phelan at Mount Saint Mary's University. Phelan won 830 games during his 49-year career.
Reggie Jr.'s first head coaching job proved that he had the incredible ability to immediately turn a program around, doing so at Leuzinger High School (Lawndale, Calif.), which had posted an 8-18 record the previous year. The final record was a surprising 21-10 following a 7-8 start.
Reggie Jr. spent eight very successful seasons at Leuzinger. He turned out two future NBA first-round draft choices - Dorell Wright and Russell Westbrook. He would have had a third, he believes, had super-talented Khelsey Barrs not died of a heart attack during his sophomore year.
In 2009, Luezinger finished second in the Southern Section Division II-AA championships. The next year he guided Leuzinger to its first Southern Section championship and was named Coach of the Year. Following that season, he got his chance to turn another losing program around, this time at St. Bernard's in nearby Playa del Rey, which had a 4-23 record the previous season. They turned in a record of 26-9 and in the second year his 25-8 team was Division V state runner-up, losing a heartbreaker on a late 3-pointer.
It didn't take Redondo Union (2,500 in grades 9-12) long to seek his magic, hiring him in 2012 following a 10-17 season. They then reached the very top of the coaching mountain by winning it all in his first year with the Sea Hawks.
M. Basketball - 1/23/2018
Suits and Sneakers Week Raises Funds and Awareness
M. Basketball - 1/20/2018
Markusson Records Double-Double in Homecoming Loss
M. Basketball - 1/19/2018
Homecoming Matchup Features Lions and Pilots
M. Basketball - 1/18/2018
Haney Hits Five Threes in LMU’s Loss to BYU
M. Basketball - 1/17/2018
National Spotlight Returns as LMU/BYU Battle on ESPNU
M. Basketball - 1/13/2018
Lions Cut 17-point Deficit to One Before Falling at USD