Coach Mo recaps her coaching career


Coach Morrison celebrates her 600th career win during the 2017-18 season.

Justin Maines, Staff Writer

Athletics in Clearfield have a rich history, and the Bison Swim team is no exception. The current head coach of the men’s and women’s swim teams, Coach Morrison, recapped the history of the team since she took over.

The Clearfield swim team has only had three coaches prior to Coach Morrison: Robert “Baldy” Shearer, Edith Rowles, and Rich Janosky. Now Morrison, known around school and the swimming world as Coach Mo, is entering the thirtieth year of her coaching career at Clearfield.

Thinking back over the past thirty years, Coach Mo recognizes the changes that have been made in her program: “Training and racing philosophies have changed greatly.  We used to be a high volume yardage program but over the years have had much more success with a blend of volume and sprint work.  Stroke mechanics have improved greatly because we have better technology to learn the most efficient way to travel in each stroke through the water.  The athletes are much bigger and stronger today than they were in early 90’s due to the inclusion of quality strength training.”

Coach Morrison has experienced a lot of success in her career. Since she took over as head coach, she has led her teams to 606 wins and an 82 percent win rate. The boys have captured 27 PIAA District IX championships, and the girls have won 19 PIAA District IX Championships under Coach Mo. Along with her great team success, Morrison has coached individual swimmers that have experienced success on the state level.

In 2005, Jon Lytle won the PIAA state championship in the 50-yard freestyle, and in 2006 he earned gold medals in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle swims. Lytle also captured a YMCA National Championship in the 100-yard freestyle in 2006. Lytle was Morrison’s sole state-champion until the 2018 season. At the 2018 PIAA State Championships, Clearfield swimmers Chase Bietz, Paige Mikesell, and Luke Mikesell captured their own gold medals in the 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard butterfly, and 500-yard freestyle, respectively.

Although Coach Mo’s success has been immense, she believes that her job is defined by more than her success: “I’ve been blessed with lots of great athletes and families that have made my coaching career memorable and satisfying.  I’d have to say that the biggest reward is seeing the people who have graduated from the program do amazing things with their lives.  Most of them tell me that our swimming and diving program helped teach them principles and values that have had a positive impact in their lives.  That is so rewarding and gratifying to hear.  Everything else fades away but the lessons learned in the pool are life lessons.”

When asked if there was anything she would like to share with our readers, Coach Morrison responded: “I’m excited for the 2018-19 season!  Many of our swimmers have been in the water and the weight room since last spring working on skills and fitness to help them have their best season ever and I can’t wait to see what they can do.”