West Stanly football coach resigns

After seven years as leader of the West Stanly football program, head coach Brett Morton announced this week he is stepping down from the position.

“Ultimately at the end of the day, it’s the right thing for me to do for my family,” Morton said about his decision.

In an open letter posted on the West Stanly football X (formerly Twitter) page, Morton said football “has been my first love since I put on a helmet and shoulder pads in third grade.” He added he has “never known a year that has not been spent playing, preparing for or coaching football.”

Morton said in the letter, “Stepping down is one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, but life outside of football has overtaken my priorities. I don’t feel like I can adequately do the job of a head coach the way I feel it needs to be done, especially not the standard I have set for myself, and be there for my family the way I need to be there now.”

He was the fourth-longest tenured coach for West Stanly, having coached 65 games with a 30-35 overall record. He missed two games this season because of health concerns.

Morton also had the longest win streak in the program’s history in the 2019 season when West won eight in a row to start the season. Jordan Poole, who is currently playing at N.C. State, was on the team in 2019 that went 8-3 overall.

He also led the program to its third playoff victory in school history in 2018 when West beat Thomasville at home 21-13.

Morton said those were great accomplishments, but added, “one of the biggest things was all the guys I’ve had the privilege to coach to come through to work so hard and be able to see them move on to become successful young adults…it makes you proud to know they are doing good things.”

He will continue to teach at West Stanly, saying he was not going anywhere else to coach football.

“As far as what I am proud of, I believe that I’m leaving the program in good shape. I believe I’ve put a foundation in place that is good through the weight room and the expectations of what needs to be done during the summertime,” Morton said. “I believe I’m leaving it in a really good position.”

He noted when people say football coaches have a time which could be considered off-season, he responds by saying, “if you do this the right way, there is not a true off-season where you can put this down and not worry about it.”

West Stanly athletic director Chad Yow said the coach “served our community and athletes, and we are grateful for his investment in us. We wish him nothing but the best in his professional and personal future endeavors. He will always be a Colt.”