A Lipscomb graduate himself, men’s soccer head coach Charles Morrow has been a long-time stalwart around the Nashville soccer scene, first as a player during the Bison’s NAIA days and now as a coach on the Division I level. He enters his 13th season as the head coach of the Lipscomb Bisons men’s soccer team with lofty expectations for his program to break through and make its first NCAA Tournament.
Morrow arrived on Lipscomb’s campus first in 1994 as a transfer after starting his collegiate career at DII power Queens College. From 1994-96, Morrow would be part of the Bison squad, serving as a captain during his tenure as a player.
After his playing career ended, Morrow stayed on as an assistant from 1996-97, graduating in 1997 with a degree in physical education and health.
In 2006, Morrow would go on to earn his Master’s Degree in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala. Upon graduating from Lipscomb in 1997, Morrow took over head coaching duties for both the boys and girls squads at Goodpasture High School, where he stayed until 2000. His boys teams reached the regional semifinals in both 1999 and 2000.
Morrow returned to the collegiate ranks in 2000 when he accepted an assistant coaching position with Vanderbilt. He remained with the Commodores until 2003.
He left Vanderbilt to take on his first collegiate head coaching job at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. in April, 2003. In two seasons with the Crusaders, Morrow directed the DII squad to conference runner-up honors in the regular season and conference tournament.
In 2005, Morrow accepted the head coaching job at his alma mater. In his first season back on the sidelines at Lipscomb, Morrow’s charges secured five victories, more than doubling the total from the previous two seasons and earning one of the top turnarounds in the NCAA. It was the first of two occasions Morrow would lead a squad to one of the NCAA’s biggest turnarounds from season-to-season.
His 2006 squad began the season 5-4-1, including its first-ever DI victory against archrival Belmont, before stumbling down the stretch. The Bisons rebounded in 2007 with the school’s first trip to the Atlantic Sun tournament, where the Bisons advanced to the second round before falling to Jacksonville.
Morrow’s 2008 squad broke through in a big way, setting program records for wins (10) and conference wins (5). The Bisons lost in the A-Sun tournament semifinals for the second consecutive year, this time to eventual champion Jacksonville on penalty kicks.
After a disappointing sixth-place finish in 2009, Morrow’s squad rebounded with a quality 2010 performance, earning Lipscomb’s second 10-win campaign in three seasons. Along the way, Lipscomb took regular season champion Florida Gulf Coast to overtime, and in the semifinals of the A-Sun tournament, played ETSU in a double overtime thriller before falling, 2-1, to the eventual champions.
Morrow's 2011 squad finished 4-12-3, but the season was highlighted with a 2-1 victory over nationally-ranked No. 22 ETSU in Johnson City.
The following season his squad bounced back and claimed seven wins and advanced to the semifinal's of the A-Sun Tournament before dropping a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to Florida Gulf Coast in two overtimes.
With three freshmen and three sophomore's landing a spot in the 2013 starting lineup, Morrow's squad had one of the most impressive seasons in program history finishing the season 9-9-2, the third-most wins in Lipscomb's NCAA era. Morrow guided his team to a fifth semifinal appearance in the A-Sun Tournament in seven seasons, before losing 1-0 to ETSU on a late Buccaneer goal.
Morrow was tabbed the A-Sun Coach of the Year for the first time in program history and also had junior midfielder Omar Djabi named A-Sun Player of the Year after leading the league with nine goals and 21 points.
In 2014 his team broke the school's single-season win record after going 12-4-1 overall. The 4-0-1 mark in conference play landed the Bisons a first-ever A-Sun regular season title and the right to host the conference championship. Lipscomb fell short in the semifinals against North Florida.
Six players earned all-conference honors, including a school record three on the first team. Luke Gearin was named the A-Sun Defender of the Year while Ivan Alvarado earned Freshman of the Year. He and Matt Kerridge were both named NSCAA All-Region members.
The 2015 season included a 3-2 mark in ASUN play for the Bisons and a seventh trip to the ASUN Semifinals in nine season. Seven players earned All-Conference honors including freshman Logan Paynter and Alvarado on the First Team. Alvarado also garned NSCAA All-Region distinction.
Coming in to the 2016 season, expectations were high as Alvarado was named Preseason ASUN Player of the Year and goalkeeper Micah Bledsoe, Preseason Keeper of the Year.
The Bisons won 10 games including a 3-2-1 mark in ASUN play. They again advanced to the ASUN Semifinals, but fell to eventual champion FGCU. Postseason awards were plenty for Morrow's 2016 group, as Alvarado, Paynter and defender Joe Kerridge were all named First Team All-Conference. Freshman Austin Eager brought home All-Freshman honors, while Scout Monteith and newcomer Ivan Sakou were named to the Second Team All-Conference.
After the season, the Bisons continued to pile up the hardware as a program-record three players, Alvarado, Paynter and Kerridge, were named to the NSCAA All-Region team.
Overall, Morrow has amassed a record of 90-115-22, including a 40-40-11 mark in Atlantic Sun play.
During Morrow’s tenure, 33 Bisons have been selected to all-conference honors, including 9 players named as first-teamers (Ivan Alvarado three times, Garret Pettis twice, Miguel DaSilva twice, Logan Paynter twice, Ben Page, Omar Djabi, Luke Gearin, Matt Kerridge and Joe Kerridge). While Alvarado is the only three-time Bison to be named First Team All-Conference, he also is the only two-time NSCAA All-Region honoree.
Under Morrow, Pettis became the Bisons first-ever A-Sun Freshman of the Year in 2008. Alvarado took home that honor in 2014.
In the classroom, 66 Bisons have been named Atlantic Sun All-Academic since Morrow took over, including a record 17 from the 2011 squad.
Off the pitch, Morrow and his squad are active in the community, primarily through YES (Youth Encouragement Services). The coaches and players offer instruction to players and coaches in six-week fall and spring youth leagues.
Morrow and his wife Beth have two sons, Trip and Will.