Mark MorrisHead Coach
Mark Morris, 55, has been the bench boss for the Manchester Monarchs for eight seasons and holds titles for the winningest coach in team history with 332 regular season victories and 23 playoff wins as well as the title as the longest tenured coach in team history having coached 552 regular season games. Morris completed his first season as the Head Coach of the Monarchs by tying a franchise record for the most wins (51) and points (110) in team history. He and his staff have led the team to the club’s most successful post-seasons to date, the Eastern Conference Final of the 2007 and 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs. Morris, along with former Assistant Coach Scott Pellerin, was selected to coach the PlanetUSA All-Star team at the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic held in Portland, Maine. Morris recorded his 250th professional win as the Monarchs Head Coach with a 4-0 victory over the Worcester Sharks on March 31, 2012. On November 13, 2013, Morris became the first coach to win 300 collegiate games and 300 professional games as the Monarchs topped the Norfolk Admirals, 3-1.
Morris coached 13 players from the 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings roster while they skated with the Monarchs. Jonathan Bernier, Kyle Clifford, Davis Drewiske, Dwight King, Trevor Lewis, Andrei Loktionov, Alec Martinez, Jordan Nolan, Scott Parse, Jonathan Quick, Brad Richardson, Slava Voynov and Kevin Westgarth all had their NHL careers aided by Morris’ direction while in Manchester. Kings Stanley Cup Champion Willie Mitchell was also coached by Morris at Clarkson University. Quick and Voynov also represented the United States and Russia, respectively, at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
There are numerous current NHL players that have also honed their skills as members of the Monarchs during Morris’ tenure including Marc-Andre Cliche (Colorado Avalanche), Richard Clune (Nashville Predators), Thomas Hickey (New York Islanders), Nick Deslauriers (Buffalo Sabres), Matt Moulson (Minnesota Wild), Jonathan Bernier (Toronto Maple Leafs), Jeff Zatkoff (Pittsburgh Penguins), Peter Harrold (New Jersey Devils), Tim Jackman (Anaheim Ducks), Andre Loktionov (Carolina Hurricanes), Brian Boyle (New York Rangers) and Teddy Purcell (Tampa Bay Lightning).
Prior to being named Head Coach of the Monarchs, Morris began his professional hockey coaching career when he served as the Special Assistant Coach/Interim Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Vancouver Canucks from February 2003 to April 2003 under former NHL Head Coach Marc Crawford. Morris moved on to be the Interim Assistant Coach for the Saginaw Spirit Hockey Club of the Ontario Hockey League from November 2003 to March 2004.
A majority of Morris’ amateur coaching career was spent in NCAA Hockey in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) with the Clarkson University Golden Knights. He led the Golden Knights to 10 consecutive 20-plus win seasons during his 14 year reign as the Head Coach. Hired by Clarkson in 1988, Morris compiled an overall record of 306-156-42 in 504 regular season games and a playoff record of 39-19-1. His teams appeared in 14 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournaments, five ECAC League championships, three ECAC tournament championships, nine NCAA tournament appearances, one Frozen Four appearance, three Quarterfinal appearances and five First Round appearances. He is the winningest coach in the history of Clarkson University. His teams won eight ECAC titles in his 14 seasons as Head Coach. Morris received the ECAC Coach of the Year Award in 1991 and 2001. Twice he was a finalist for the prestigious Spenser Penrose Award, an honor bestowed upon the nation’s top collegiate hockey coach. In 1999, his team won the first ever Humanitarian Award for their part in assisting their community with the devastating ice storm which hit the Northeast that winter. For the 2010-11 season, Morris was honored as a committee member to select the Top 50 ECAC Players of all time in celebration of the 50th year as a conference. The committee consisted of several noteworthy personalities who made their mark in hockey collegiately and professionally.
Morris has also served as a mentor to two current AHL Head Coaches. Pellerin was mentored by Morris for six seasons before he became the Head Coach for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2012. Former Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Ron Rolston was also mentored by Morris at Clarkson University.
Prior to joining the Monarchs in July of 2006, Morris was the Director of Boy’s Hockey, the Boy’s Junior Hockey Coach and an Administrator (Admissions and Advancement) at Northwood School for two seasons. In 2004-05, Northwood finished the season with a record of 32-11-4. The following season, his team set a new school record for most wins in a season with a record of 40-8-0.
Morris is a 1977 graduate of Northwood School and a 1981 graduate of Colgate University. He lettered in hockey and golf. After graduation, Morris played three years of professional hockey after signing an NHL contract with the Kings. As a defenseman, he played for both the Central Hockey League’s Dallas Black Hawks and the King’s AHL affiliate, the New Haven Nighthawks, between 1981-1984. He began his coaching with Union College as the Men’s Varsity Hockey Assistant Coach and Junior Varsity Coach for the 1984-85 season. That season the Dutchmen won the ECAC West Division II Championship. They were also Semi-Finalists in the NCAA Division III Championship.
Preceding his 14-year reign at Clarkson University, Morris served as the Men’s Varsity Hockey Assistant Coach for the St. Lawrence University Saints for three seasons, 1985-88. The team made two ECAC playoff appearances, two NCAA playoff appearances and lost a double-overtime thriller to Lake Superior State University in the Frozen Four finals in 1988 at Lake Placid. Morris was inducted into the St. Lawrence Hall of Fame with the 1988 team. He is also an honored member of the Massena High School Hall of Fame.
Mark and his wife Cecily, a Family Court Judge, reside in Massena, New York and Manchester, New Hampshire. They are proud parents of four children, Michael, Emily, Leah and Kevin.