Bill Morrison Named Head Football Coach at Brookville Amid Extensive Renovations to Raiders’ Stadium

Mike Kilroy

Mike Kilroy

Published February 21, 2024 4:14 am
Bill Morrison Named Head Football Coach at Brookville Amid Extensive Renovations to Raiders’ Stadium

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Bill Morrison was surprised.

After one year as the head coach of the Brookville football team, Gabe Bowley told Morrison he was stepping down.

(Pictured above, Bill Morrison was hired as the head football coach at Brookville on Monday. He was the defensive coordinator for the Raiders for the last two seasons/photo by Molly Zimmerman)

“Gabe and I had a long conversation. He just kind of laid out everything that was going on,” Morrison said. “He’s still teaching at the school district. He’s an important part of the community and whoever was the successor, he put them in a great position to succeed. It surprised me, yes, but he put everything out there and was open and honest — you can’t ask for much more than that. You’re never gonna fault a guy for doing what’s best for their family. Never.”

Morrison was the defensive coordinator, first under Scott Park for a season and then Bowley.

He applied for the head coaching job after Bowley announced his intention to resign.

On Monday, Morrison was hired, taking over a program that is in the middle of exciting times with success on the field and lots of improvements to the facilities going on off of it.

Well, on it, too — with artificial turf slated to be installed this spring on the Monday following the District 9 Track and Field Championships in May.

Brookville Area High School sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Redbank Chevrolet and DuBrook.

“Beyond excited,” Morrison said. “I can’t even put it into words, to be honest with you. All the new renovations that are coming are exciting. They’re gonna make for an interesting summer for us with workouts and things like that, but it’s a good problem to have.

“Getting the chance to get my first head coaching job with my alma mater means the world to me,” he added. “I still see a lot of familiar faces that I saw — boy, I’m dating myself — 20 years ago when I played at Brookville. So it’s extra special being able to do it there and with a lot of kids on that team that you knew their parents or grew up with their parents.”

Besides the new turf, there will also be a new press box and field house.

Morrison, a 2003 graduate of Brookville, said that will only help the program.

“It’ll attract more fans,” Morrison said. “I’m convinced of that.”

Morrison was a star for the Raiders when he played under coach Chris Dworek.

He moved on to Shippensburg University, where he was a two-year starter at linebacker.

It was there that his love for football really grew.

“I liked football,” Morrison said. “When I got to college, I realized how much I loved it.”

He found a love for coaching, too.

Morrison will still serve as the defensive coordinator along with his head coaching duties this fall.

“Our number one goal is to be the most physical team on the field every single week,” Morrison said. “We want the other team to know Saturday morning that they played the Brookville Raiders. We’re going to stop the run and then get after the quarterback. Good things happen whenever you do that stuff.”

Morrison will have plenty of familiar faces on the surrounding staff.

Offensive coordinator Nick Nosker will return. So will offensive and defensive line coach Kyle Smith.

“Nick is going to be back as our offensive coordinator and assistant head coach,” Morrison said. “Nick played college football, and he’s been coaching for about 10 years now. He took our offense, which was averaging 19 points a game in 2022, to 35 points per game in 2023. So 16 points is a staggering difference. We had some extra scores on defense and special teams, but either way, you do the math, it’s still a staggering difference. A lot of that was a credit to what Nick brought to the table as an offensive play caller. Also, Kyle Smith needs to be recognized as our offensive line coach. Kyle was a Division I athlete at Central Florida. He’s integral to our run game and offensive line play.”

Brookville teams have been strikingly resilient over the past two seasons.

In 2022, injuries piled up, especially at quarterback, forcing the coaching staff to scrap just about everything in the playbook and come up with something new on the fly — a vastly different, run-heavy attack.

It helped the Raiders pull out of a 1-4 tailspin to make the playoffs and win a postseason game over Karns City before falling to Central Clarion in the District 9 Class 2A final.

Last year, Brookville stumbled to 0-2 out of the gate, but regrouped to win nine straight games, again falling in the D9 title game to Central Clarion.

“Confidence is a serious, serious thing,” Morrison said. “Whenever you get that, especially in high school football, you can get on a roll before you even realize you’re on a roll. That’s just kind of what happened. We rode the wave the rest of the year.”

This year, the Raiders figure to be formidable again with a wealth of talent returning.

And a staff willing to mold the offense to fit the skills of the players.

“They are already doing a great job of tailoring our offense to the athletes and bodies that we have,” Morrison said. “We return four starters on the offensive line. We have both our first and second leading rushers back. We have two big threats on the outside and we have Easton Belfiore, who can do it all. He’s played running back, receiver and he played quarterback in a game last year and threw four touchdown passes. We have a lot of exciting stuff going offensively.”

Morrison, who has two children with his wife Katie — daughter Stevie, 5, and son, Dominic, who will soon turn 2 — is eager to see what awaits him and the team in the new-look facilities come fall.

It will present a challenge during the offseason, but nothing Morrison can’t handle.

The work has already begun in a place where he believes all great programs are constructed.

“I’m a big weight room proponent,” he said. “I believe that any good program is built in the weight room and that carries over onto the field.”

One person who has no doubt Morrison will flourish is the man he’s replacing, Bowley.

“Coach Morrison is going to do fantastic things,” Bowley said. “He has my full support and confidence that he is the right guy to move this program into the future. I’m excited for this opportunity for him and the program as a whole, and their success moving forward.”

Brookville Area High School sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Redbank Chevrolet and DuBrook.

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