New Basketball coach brings ‘charisma and love for the sport’

If you were a basketball fan at CU Boulder in the late eighties, the Colorado Academy Girls Basketball coach might look familiar to you. Reggie Morton played for CU from 1988-1990, and during that time, the team made it to the Big Eight finals. Morton has coached Girls Basketball at a several schools since then, most recently at Bear Creek High School. Now, he is bringing his system, enthusiasm, and a plan to play the “long game” to CA.

What brought him to CA

A self-described “military brat,” Morton grew up all over the world, but ended up playing high school basketball in Derby, Kansas, where he is now in the school’s Hall of Fame. He is also in the Hall of Fame of Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he helped lead his team to a National Championship. CU Boulder spotted his talent, as did universities in Wyoming and South Florida. “It wasn’t a hard decision,” he laughs. “I took one look at Boulder and said, ‘This is beautiful!’”

He first heard about the opening for a Girls Basketball coach at CA from Hunter Worthley, who is in her first year as Athletics Assistant. She had played for Morton at Bear Creek High School, and persistently recruited him to apply for the coaching position. “It made me feel good to know that someone I had coached in the past wanted me,” he says. “It validated that I had done a good job when I coached her.”

Worthley is friends with Morton’s daughter, and eventually the two young women double-teamed him, and he decided to take the CA position seriously. What clinched his decision to make a move was his first look at CA’s new Athletic Center. “Who wouldn’t want to coach in a wonderful new space like that?” he says. “The biggest problem in youth sports is finding an adequate facility, and with four basketball courts, CA has solved that problem.”

His plans for CA Girls Basketball

Morton was also impressed by CA’s track record of State Championships, most recently in Girls Field Hockey, Girls Soccer, Girls Lacrosse, and Girls Golf. “At CA, the players know how to win and the coaches know how to coach,” he says. “I want to do the same thing in basketball.” He believes his team has potential. “They are smart and pick up things quickly,” he says. “They understood my approach to basketball in two days.”

Morton’s goal is to establish a system where his team plays fast and assertively. “You just want to help them understand the game, accept that it’s good to work hard, and make them a little bit better,” he says. He is delighted CA has a Strength and Conditioning Center with Wes Kirk as a full time coach. “Any other school, the team coach would be in charge of strength and conditioning,” Morton says. “Here you have a pro dedicated to the job. How good is that for all the coaches and athletes at CA!”

The team is just as excited to have Morton as he is to be at CA

“Coach Reggie is someone who comes to practice not only committed to making his players better but also to making himself better as a coach,” says Junior Ella Freimuth. “He doesn’t stand for anyone thinking we can’t do it. I think he has come in and given the Girls Basketball program a breath of fresh air.”

“His charisma and love for the sport is obvious which makes it so easy to trust what he is saying and teaching us,” adds Senior Merrill Rollhaus. “He is tough enough to make sure we are growing as a team, but he does it in a way where we stay excited for every practice and game, and our love for the sport and our teammates is never lost.”

Morton feels he has the support of Athletic Director Bill Hall and Assistant Athletic Director Jon Hill for his plans for the future. “They care, they are committed, and want to build the program,” he says. “They want to make these girls successful.” He plans to start working with Middle School students to teach them to “love the game.” It will be easy, he believes, to develop young talent, because all the students are located on one campus. “If we make it fun when they are young and teach them the right way to play, they will want to continue in high school,” he says. “Sports are important at CA, and that’s my comfort zone.”