Marc Morris is no stranger to being a target for schools looking to fill their football openings.
Berkeley and the seventh-year Carolina Forest coach gave each other enough reasons to warrant a second interview. Morris is a finalist for the opening in Moncks Corner and has already met with officials there twice this week, including Friday.
“I don’t know anything concrete,” Morris said. “But I’ve got a great job. A great principal [Gaye Driggers] who does what she can do to help us be successful. That’s all big stuff.”
Morris was otherwise fairly mum on the topic other to say that he isn’t necessarily looking for another job. However, Berkeley is one of the state’s more storied programs and after it approached Morris, he wanted to at least get a better feel for the situation.
His resume was clearly the impetus for the first contact, as his prominence in the state’s football scene has been steadily rising since he took over Carolina Forest in 2014.
Prior to his arrival, the Panthers had won one-third of their games over the previous eight seasons and had qualified for the playoffs four times in the program’s first 16 seasons of varsity football. Almost immediately after Morris's hire, the Panthers began to make significant strides.
They defeated rival Conway in the first season, and then advanced to the state playoffs in year two. The 2016 campaign featured a winning record, followed by the program’s first big-class playoff victory in 2017 and another in 2018.
The 2019 season was the high-water mark, as Carolina Forest went 11-2 and advanced to the Class 5A lower state championship game where it lost to powerhouse Dutch Fork. The Silver Foxes, who have won five consecutive state championships, ended the Panthers’ playoff run this past fall as well.
Morris has gone 47-31 in his seven seasons at Carolina Forest, with 25 of those losses coming in the first four years. Overall, Morris is 143-56 in 16 seasons as a head coach, including nine seasons in North Carolina.
Morris, 48, is the highest-paid coach in Horry County. According to the most-recent records provided by the district, he is making just shy of $95,000 annually combined for his academic and athletic compensation.
According to The State’s Chris Dearing, the other two finalists for the Berkeley job are former Berkeley coach Jerry Brown and Andrews’ Scott Durham. All three had second interviews Friday after being part of an initial pool of six.
Brown was 175-62 in 18 seasons with the Stags between 1993-2010, winning three state championships along the way. This past fall, Brown was honored by the school, which put his name above the players’ entrance to the stadium. Since leaving Berkeley, he has made several head-coaching stops along the way while two coaches have filled his old job.
Jeff Cruce took over for Brown prior to the 2011 season, and the program slipped some over the next five seasons. He was fired after 2015, and Randy Robinson was hired.
Robinson, who had previously been the head coach at Daniel for 10 seasons, led the Stags to a 44-14 record before retiring after 2020.