Morel steps down as head coach

Posted Feb. 16, 2007
Emmah Obradovich
Having served 15 seasons on the football coaching staff at the University of La Verne, Don Morel has resigned as head coach. Morel attended La Verne as an undergraduate and played football for former coach Roland Ortmayer from 1983 to 1986. Morel hopes to pursue a career in finance and move to the Midwest with his wife and son.

Taryn Aguilar
Staff Writer

Head football coach Don Morel resigned in January after 15 seasons of coaching at ULV.

He will leave as only the third head football coach at La Verne since 1948.

Morel has coached college football for the past 20 years and has decided that 20 years has been enough – for now at least.

He has reached a point in his life where he can “live without coaching football” and focus on other avenues of his life like his family.

“You need a lot of energy to coach college football; you need to pour yourself into it,” Morel said.
“I did that for 20 years and now I think it’s time to do something else.”

Having started as the offensive coordinator, he has served as head coach for the past 12 years.

Morel says he has found that winning is not everything and that the big picture is more about producing good men out of the program, not just good football players.

“I don’t think I’m the kind of man that was made to be a coach for 45 years,” Morel said.

He graduated with a degree in history and also served as captain of the La Verne football team.

After graduating from La Verne in 1987, he went on to be an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton and then was hired at La Verne as a coordinator for head coach Rex Huigens in 1991.

Morel became head coach in 1995, where he continued the legacy that is La Verne football.

“In terms of wins and losses, I’d say it was about 50 percent. I think I’ve had the most fun in the last four or five years that I was coaching,” said Morel.

“We didn’t do as well on the field as I would have liked, but I think I worked alongside better men,” Morel said.

Although Morel is resigning as coach, he will not be far from ULV or the football program.

For the next few months, Morel is helping to transition the new head coach into the major job of leading 75 males on the ULV campus.

“We’ve already begun the search and hiring process. We are moving forward in hopes of identifying a new head coach that will continue in Don’s footsteps,” said Chris Ragsdale, ULV athletic director.

Morel also intends on continuing to work with the La Verne Athletic Association.

Looking toward the future, Morel is excited about the idea of getting involved in private business in the fields of commercial real estate, finance or the stock market.

Morel is satisfied with his efforts in molding the men on his teams throughout the years, on and off the field.

“He always encouraged me in school and was a father figure to me,” said senior receiver Melvin Ward. “He made sure I was doing well in classes and he grew me into a leader of the team.”

Morel talks more about the? men he taught instead of the players he coached.

As he thinks back on past players, he hopes that he has molded them into successful men.

“My greatest achievements would have to be the players who went through the program and did well in life, not in terms of money, but as happy people, productive citizens, and outstanding parents,” Morel said.

“I like to think I helped contribute to that and that they lived a message that I preached while they were on the team.”

Taryn Aguilar can be reached at

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