Longtime Savannah coach and educator Floyd E. Morris has died. Morris died on November 6 at Cloverdale neighborhood home, following a long illness. He was 86.
Morris began his career as an educator in 1959 and it lasted until his retirement in 1986.
Morris was a health and physical education teacher and an assistant football coach at Sol C. Johnson High School for nine years (1959-68) followed by a five year stint as the head football coach and athletic director at Richard Arnold High School (1968- 72). He was also a member of the Georgia Independent Association of Savannah Coaches and Officials Association for ten years.
In 1970, he was appointed the school district’s Director of Community Education (1970-1973) where he was involved coordinating the Adult Basic Education Program and serving as principal of Richard Arnold Community High School. Morris was also the principal of Richard Arnold High School for one year (1973-74). In 1975, he was named Assistant Superintendent for the Division of Support Services for the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education. He retired July 1, 1986.
Longtime friend Otis Brock said he will miss Morris. “We met in 1959 when we both started coaching at Johnson High School. We have been good friends ever since. In fact, he was my best man at my wedding.” Brock, 87, added that Morris was a good motivator “He helped a lot of guys who were good football players become better football players.”
Following his retirement from the educational system, Morris worked for the City of Savannah Recreation and Leisure Services. During the 1980s, Morris worked the scorers table at Savannah State basketball games where he kept the game clock for the Tigers. Also found at the scorers table were Brock and another longtime friend Walter Simmons.
Simmons stated that his first encounter with Morris was at the Frank Callen Boys Club. “I was volunteering at the Boys Club and Floyd was a soldier and at the time was dating the niece of Frank Callen, Agatha Curley.”
Simmons, who turned 94 on October 29, recalled the times when he and Morris were football officials. “We would travel to referee games in Brunswick and Waycross as well as games in Savannah. This was before the schools were integrated.”
The duo had more in common than being football referees. “When Floyd was the principal at Richard Arnold, I was the principal at the 37th Street School. He was one of the few guys that always had the same personality, no matter if you saw him during the day or at night. He was always the same Floyd,” states Simmons.
Morris was a member of the Board of Directors for the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club for several years and up until his death, was a member of the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club Alumni Association.
Morris has been a member of Historic Second African Baptist Church in downtown Savannah since December, 1959. He taught the Adult Class in Sunday School for a number of years, and served as the Sunday School Superintendent from 1994–2000. He also served as a church deacon and was honored with the title of Chairman Emeritus in 2001.
Raised in Magnolia, Arkansas, Morris attended Columbia County High School where he was a three-sport athlete, earning varsity letters in football, basketball, and track. He was co-captain of the football team for three years. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class in May, 1952 and attended Arkansas AM & N College (now known as University of Arkansas Pine Bluff) on a football scholarship (1952-56).
While attending college, Morris was a member of the Student Christian Association, the Royal Knights, PanHellenic Council, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. During his senior year he was his fraternity Polemarch.
After graduating in 1956 with a undergraduate degree in health and physical education, Morris joined the military and was stationed at Fort Stewart in Hinesville. White at Ft. Stewart, Morris played on the base football team.
Morris received many accolades after his retirement In 1995, he was a citation honoree into the Greater Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame; in 2012, he was a citation honoree in the inaugural class of the Johnson High School Athletic Hall of Fame; in 2016, the City of Savannah renamed the football field at Daffin Park from Optimist Field to Floyd E, Morris Field; and in 2018 he was inducted into The Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame.
Morris was preceded in death by his wife, Agatha Curley Morris and their son, Edwin Charles Morris.
Funeral arrangements are pending, at press time. Adams Funeral Services is in charge of arrangements.