Jerry Morris, 86, of Ten Mile, passed away at his home after a short-term illness on Thursday, May 23, 2013.
He was born in Lenarue, Harlan County, Ky., on Sept. 18, 1926, to Albert Morris and Laura Ingram Morris. He was preceded in death by his parents; and leaves family members, including wife, Jennie Britton Morris; daughters, Teri Morris Hicks and Leslie Morris; grandchildren, Mitchell Morris, Leigh Hicks and Jennifer Hicks; sisters, May Morris McBride and Jean Morris Lenhart; and a cherished extended family .
After graduation from Hall High School, Harlan County, he entered and served in the U.S.
. Following his military service, he received a scholarship to play football for the University of Tennessee, coached by Gen. Robert R. Neyland. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree from UT in June 1952 and became a teacher and football coach at Morristown High School and was later inducted into its Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1958, he coached with Roy Harmon at Carson-Newman College. In 1959, he became the head football coach for Naples High School, Naples, Fla. He taught, coached and later served as athletic director at Naples High School, until he retired in 1981 to return Tennessee to live in Kingston. During his tenure as athletic director at Naples High School, he expanded the number of athletic teams from five to 20. He founded the Eagle Invitational Track and Field meet, a regional track meet in Florida which celebrated its 47th anniversary this year, supporting expansion of track and field in southwest Florida. He was a leader in establishing a strong chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was a charter member of the Optimist Club, Naples. After returning to Tennessee, he was an active alumnus for the University of Tennessee; the "T Club," the University of Tennessee lettermen; and a member of Bethel Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder.
A celebration of his life was held in Bethel Presbyterian Church, 203 S. Kentucky St., Kingston, at noon Saturday, June 8. The family received friends following the service at his family home.
Published in Roane County News from May31 to June3,2013