On the afternoon of Sept. 1, I received a phone call from Jim Maready and he told me that we lost Allan Morris to a fatal heart attack. I couldn’t believe what he said and made him tell me again. Those words just knocked the wind right out of me.
Coming back to Crescent City to coach has been a great experience for me. One of the reasons that this has been such a great experience is the privilege I had working with Allan.
I first met Allan when he was coaching youth football. He had an easy way about him where you could tell he was in charge and knew what he was doing, but never raised his voice to yell at players when they made a mistake. He made corrections in a very positive way.
When I took over as head coach for the Del Norte Warriors I needed someone to work with the linebackers, so I asked Allan if he would like to volunteer to take on that responsibility.
He said “yes,” and a very special friendship started. It was only a short time until I realized that Allan’s knowledge of our whole defense was such that I went to him and said “the defense is yours,” as our defense just got better and better.
In my 36 years of coaching I have never had a more loyal, hard-working assistant. We became not only close coaching partners but he became a treasured friend. When I retired, Allan continued coaching for new head coach, Lewis Nova. They had several very successful years together, and Coach Nova developed the same respect for him that I had.
When I took over as the head coach for what was then the Siskiyou Savages in the Oregon football league, a team that later became the Wild River Storm, I asked Allan to take over the defense for me.
This team made up of ex-college and high school players developed a respect for Allan that is hard to explain. He was more than a coach, as he and his wife Susie took the players in like they were family.
Allan’s defensive expertise became so well-respected that other teams in the league wanted to hire him as their defensive coordinator. He had everyone’s respect.
In February, Allan lost the love of his life, his wife Susie. That was a hard day for all of us. When I talked to Allan’s twin sons, Abel and Justin, they both said that their dad just died of a broken heart and now he and Susie are together again. This is a comfort to all of us that loved this super couple.
We will miss you both.
Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High Warrior sports. Trone, who played football for the Warriors and graduated in 1951, had an illustrious career on the gridiron at Humboldt State University. Trone was head football coach at Del Norte High for a number of years before retiring.