This year is Head Coach Chuck Morrell’s seventh at the helm of the Oredigger football program and as a head football coach. He starts the 2017 season with a 35-31 overall record.
Coach Morrell guided the Orediggers to a second straight 10-2 overall record and back-to-back Frontier Conference title last season. The Orediggers won a school record 10-straight games breaking the previous mark set in 1970. Coach Morrell guided the team to a NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) first round victory against Dickinson State and second appearance in the FCS Quarterfinal in the last two seasons. The Orediggers landed 13 student-athletes on the Frontier All-Conference team, a career high for Morrell. Among the All-Conference selections were Offensive Player of the Year Nolan Saraceni and Defensive Player of the Year Gunnar Kayser. Both Saraceni and Kayser were named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America Team.
The Orediggers led the Frontier Conference in large number of statistical categories including scoring offense, pass efficiency, total defense, rushing defense, passing defense and sacks.
Coach Morrell was named the Frontier Conference Coach of the Year and the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year.
Montana Tech has been ranked in the last 23 NAIA Coaches Top 25 Polls. The Orediggers have not dropped below No. 15 since last season and finished 2016 at No. 6 in the postseason poll.
While holding the reigns at Tech, Coach Morrell has produced four All-Americans, 20 first team All-Conference selections and 25 second team nods. Saraceni received his second All-America team honor this past season. In addition to Saraceni and Kayser, linebacker David Meis was selected second team All-America in 2014. Linebacker Ryan Jones was signed by the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent after the 2013 season.
In 2012, Morrell earned his first Frontier Conference Coach of the Year award and was also named the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year after leading the Orediggers to their first Frontier Conference title since 2004. That same year Morrell led the Orediggers on an eight-game win streak and a berth into the NAIA Football Championship Series for the first time since 2005. Initially unranked, the team also reached No. 7 in the polls that year.
Morrell arrived at Tech from the University of South Dakota, where he served as the defensive coordinator in 2009. Prior to his stint at USD, Morrell coached at the University of Sioux Falls from 1998-2009, where he served as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
During his time at Sioux Falls, the Cougars played in five NAIA national championship games, winning three titles (2006, 2008, 2009). From 2006-2009, the Cougars were the most dominant program in the NAIA, with a record of 56-1 and their only loss in that span was in the 2007 national title game.
As a player at Sioux Falls, he was the leading tackler on the 1996 NAIA Division II national championship team. Coach Morrell, who produced 44 All-Conference and 11 All-American defensive players at Sioux Falls, has released numerous DVDs on his “uptempo 3-4 defense.” He was recently inducted into the Cougar Hall of Fame.
Coach Morrell, who is a native of Bon Homme, South Dakota, lives in Butte with his wife Jen, and two daughters, Selene and Aleia.