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Chase County native Hugh Morrison leaves mark on Arizona track scene PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 07 January 2016 18:01

Chase County native Hugh Morrison has received numerous honors for his work in the athletic field over the years. (Courtesy Photo | Arizona Senior Olympics)


By Diane Stamm

The Wauneta Breeze

From Nebraska to Arizona and around the world, Chase County native Hugh Morrison has found success in track and field.

Morrison, a 1942 Chase County High School graduate, was inducted into Arizona Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 1987 thanks to his record as a track coach at Alhambra High School in Phoenix. Starting at the school in 1962, Morrison coached 11 individual state champions and won six divisional meet championships and eight city relay championships.

Prior to moving to Phoenix, Morrison graduated from Doane College in 1949, following a stint in the Navy during World War II. Morrison lettered in football, basketball and track at Doane.

In 2008, he was given the Doane College Honor D Award, which is given to former Doane athletes who have “succeeded in their chosen careers or service.”

His wife, Shirley (Nesmith), was a 1946 graduated of Chase County High School and also attended Doane College.

Morrison started his teaching career at Hebron, before attending Indiana University and receiving a master’s degree in physical education.

Returning to Nebraska in 1952, he taught and coached at Omaha Westside, winning state golf and football titles. He was inducted into the Omaha Westside High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 1959 he moved to Phoenix and coached at two schools before he settled in at Alhambra for 24 years.

In December, Morrison was among the first to be inducted into the Phoenix (Ariz.) Union District Sports Hall of Fame.

Morrison spent 27 years working with the Senior Olympics in Arizona before retiring in June 2014. His contribution to the event was so large that it was renamed the Hugh Morrison Track and Field Classic in April 2015.

As a track official, Morrison took part in the 1988 Olympic trials, 1990 Goodwill Games and two NCAA Track and Field meets.

Morrison also took all-star track teams to international competitions across the globe.

Siblings Ruth Jaeger and Clifton (Kickie) lived in Imperial and passed away in 1986 and 1995, respectively.

Morrison, now 92-years old, still has family in the Wauneta area and is in contact with many of his former athletes.