After growing up in a home where his father would come home from months of being on the job as a railroad and telegraph operator, and then spend a month drinking and verbally abusing Morris and his mother, Morris said he made a vow to never curse or drink in his life. And he was a better man and coach for it.
During Saturday night's induction into the North Augusta Sports Commission Hall of Fame, Morris' son, Brent, said his dad had "the look" down to a science though, so no one ever dared to question his intentions.
"It's not criticism, but his way of motivating you to do better," said Brent.
Morris is North Augusta High School's all-time leader in wins with a 91-71-2 record and was named the South Carolina Coach of the Year five times.
Former student Dr. Randy Cooper said it's a testimony that still makes Morris stand out -- even 52 years after Morris first cut Cooper from the junior high football team.
Cooper said he knew Morris cared about him and all his players in a way that went beyond the title "coach" with a simple act of kindness.
"I started playing intramural (foot)ball and he noticed I was the only one without football pants," said Cooper. "The next day he said, 'Son, try this on,' and it was a pair of football pants."
Cooper said even after graduating from his own years of listening to basketball half-time pep talks of, "You ain't much, but you're all we've got," he'd still return to the locker room to hear Morris' speeches that pushed players to dig deep and win games that maybe shouldn't have been won on paper.
His zero tolerance policy landed a lot of seniors and put him on the wrong side of "a lot of people," he said, but everyone knew he was there to win and continue North Augusta's rich tradition, not make friends.
Hugh Eggersman, another inductee, said Morris even returned a letter he wrote as a student that began, "Dear Coach, The first year, I didn't like you. The second year wasn't much better."
"That goes to all the coaches who don't think you make an impression on an athlete," said Eggersman.
Saturday night's other inductees included John "Fuzzy" Floyd, a member of the 1959 Dixie Boys Baseball Little League World Series team that went on to become a professional umpire.
Eggersman, North Augusta's No. 9 all-time leading rusher, and 1990 graduate Matt Campbell, the youngest inductee ever, who was a member of the state championship team and a former National Football League player.
Campbell \nEggersman \nFloyd \nMorris