Services set for former UK football coach Guy Morriss

Morriss died at 71 years old on Monday, Sept. 5


9/13/22, 10:46 a.m.

Funeral services are set for former UK football coach Guy Morriss.

A public visitation will be held Sunday, Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. with a memorial service celebrating Morriss’s life at 4 p.m. at Southland Christian Church in Nicholasville in Theatre 81.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider supporting the Guy Morriss Memorial Fund established at Farmer’s National Bank in Perryville. If you would like to give, you can make your checks payable to:

The Guy Morriss Memorial Fund
Farmers National Bank, C/O Lisa Bottom
309 East 2nd St., Perryville, KY 40468

9/6/22, 12:16 p.m.

Guy Morriss, the former head coach and assistant head coach of the University of Kentucky football team, died Monday at 71 years old.

Morriss is remembered for some of the “most exciting moments” in UK’s history.

Morriss came to Lexington in 1997 as assistant head coach and offensive line coach. Morriss’ offensive lines provided the pass protection and running holes for the record-setting offenses directed by quarterbacks Tim Couch (1997-98), Dusty Bonner (1999) and Jared Lorenzen (2000). Couch set numerous UK, Southeastern Conference and NCAA records while leading the Wildcats, highlighted by the first win over Alabama in 75 years during the 1997 season and a 7-4 regular-season record and trip to the Outback Bowl – UK’s first New Year’s Day bowl appearance in 47 years – during the 1998 season.

Despite losing all five offensive line starters from the ’98 team, Morriss rebuilt the line that helped Bonner and the Wildcats go 6-5 in the 1999 regular season and advance to the Music City Bowl. Running back Anthony White became only the third player in NCAA history to total at least 1,500 rushing yards and 1,500 receiving yards during a career. Lorenzen took over at QB in 2000 and set numerous UK, Southeastern Conference and NCAA records during that season.

Two of Morriss’ linemen, guard John Schlarman in 1997 and tackle Kris Comstock in 1998, earned first-team All-SEC honors. Tackle Omar Smith was a second-team All-SEC choice in 2000, two linemen, guard Kip Sixbery in 1999 and tackle Antonio Hall in 2000, were Freshman All-America selections.

When Mumme resigned following the 2000 season, Morriss was appointed head coach.

Kentucky opened 2002 with a 22-17 upset at No. 17-ranked Louisville. UK got off to a 4-0 start for the first time in 18 years and went on to post a 7-5 final mark.

After the season, Morriss returned to his native Texas as head coach of the Baylor Bears from 2003-07. After a year as line coach at Kentucky State University, he became head coach at Texas A&M-Commerce from 2009-12. Returning to Kentucky for good, he was the line coach at Warren Central High School in Bowling Green (2014) and Lexington Christian Academy (2015) before retiring.

“Guy Morriss provided steady leadership for our football program at a time of significant uncertainty,” said Kentucky Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart, who arrived at UK in 2002 and worked with Morriss that season, in a press release. “He was both liked and respected by the players, who responded to his fair, no-nonsense approach with their best efforts. His six years at UK feature some of the best players and most exciting moments in our history.  He will be deeply missed and our condolences are with (wife) Jackie, their children, family and friends.”

Morriss is survived by his wife, Jackie, their daughters, Colleen, Kerry, Savannah and Austin, and five grandchildren.

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