Ryan Morris is in his sixth year as the Monarchs recruiting coordinator, hitting, and infield coach. Morris, a Portsmouth native, was an assistant at Old Dominion for one year in 1999, and also spent five seasons at Virginia Commonwealth University (2000 - 2004) as the Recruiting Coordinator for the Rams.
Upon Morris' arrival to Old Dominion in 2005 as the Recruiting Coordinator, his tireless efforts in recruiting have assisted the Monarchs in making a rapid climb to the top of the Colonial Athletic Association, as well as appearing as high as 15th in assorted national polls.
Morris, known as one of the states top recruiters, has been instrumental in signing and developing a number of players who have enjoyed success in pinstripes. ODU's first recruiting class in 2005 included Dan Hudson and Anthony Shawler. Hudson in his rookie campaign was a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American and CAA All-Rookie Team selection. Hudson followed with a sophomore performance which made him a CAA First Team All-Conference selection in 2007, and is on the Pre-Season Watch List for the Brook Wallace Award for the Nation's Best Collegiate Baseball Player given by The College Baseball Foundation. Shawler also earned national honors following the Monarchs 2007 season by being named a First Team All American by Collegiate Baseball. Shawler was also named a CAA First Team All-Conference selection in 2007 and is on the Pre-Season Watch List for the Brook Wallace Award along with Hudson.
Monarchs Outfielder Mike Zahm (Iowa Western C.C.) and Jimmy Miles (South Florida C.C.) were also signed in the Monarchs 2005 recruiting class. Zahm went on to be named a two time All CAA selection and team captain as an outfielder while leading the club in multiple offensive categories. Miles has established himself as a legitimate base stealing threat and leadoff man by finishing seventh nationally and second in the CAA with 39 stolen bases in 2006 while batting .348 with a team leading 19 doubles.
Jake McAloose, the Monarchs third baseman, may have highlighted the 2006 recruiting class by being named to the 2007 CAA All Rookie Team after playing everyday as a freshman and batting .306 while only committing 8 errors at the hot corner. Old Dominions 2007 recruiting class is also a group of predominately high school signees, and once again the focus was the In-State talent throughout Virginia.
From 2005 through 2008, Old Dominion Baseball has had 12 players selected in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, and three others who signed professionally as free agents. as a team, the Monarchs captured the 2007 Colonial Athletic Association Regular Season Championship, and in 2006 finished in second in the CAA.
Morris' field responsibilities include coaching the Monarch hitters and infielders. In 2007, the Monarchs had six starters finish the 2007 campaign with a batting average above .300. ODU also, finished with a team stolen base success rate of seventy percent.
In 2006, the Monarchs batted .302 as a team, the highest team batting average at Old Dominion since 1998. This 2006 team also had six starters finish with a batting average of .300 or better, a team slugging percentage of .466, and four starters with 40 or more RBI. Patrick Nichols tied a home record for homeruns with 10, and his total of 18 homeruns was two shy of the school mark . Defensively, the 2006 Monarchs finished with a .968 fielding percentage which was 53rd nationally and second in the CAA.
Prior to joining the Old Dominion baseball family, as Virginia Commonwealth's recruiting coordinator, Morris spearheaded the Rams recruiting which led to an impressive run from 2000-2004. Over that five year span, Morris' recruiting efforts aided in the assembling of a team which would spawn 18 players who would go on to sign contracts with Major League teams (five of which were drafted inside the first ten rounds) while averaging 39 wins as a team over that time. Sean Marshall (Chicago Cubs) and Cla Meredith (San Diego) have since made themselves fixtures on their respected Major League rosters.
In 2001, the Rams were 41-19 and played LSU in a regional final where Rams Shortstop, Joshua Arteaga ( Morris' first signee at VCU) was the LSU Region Tournament MVP. The 2001 team also batted .308 and had a .965 fielding percentage which ranked 35th Nationally. In 2002 and 2003, VCU won back to back CAA Championships and broke the schools single season wins record with 46 in 2003. The 2003 team also ranked 1st Nationally with a 2.54 ERA and 35th Nationally with a .969 fielding percentage, and was a number two seed in the Wilson, NC Regional.
In his first stint at Old Dominion, Morris assisted with the Monarchs 38-17 finish, and coached the Monarch infielders to a program record tying 58 double plays in that season. The Monarch infield in 1999 consisted of four future draft picks in Tim Hummel (SS, 2nd Cincinnati Reds), Tony Gsell (2B, Chicago Cubs), Jeff Eure (3B, Milwaukee Brewers), Anthony Forelli (1B, Milwaukee Brewers). The 1999 Monarchs reached the CAA Championship game against East Carolina.
In 2004, Morris served as manager of the Peninsula Pilots of The Coastal Plains League, where his club set the franchise record for wins. Morris also managed the Waynesboro Generals of the Shenandoah Valley League in 1999.
A three year starter at second base for Bridgewater, Morris helped the Eagles to three consecutive Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament championships from 1994-96 and two appearances in the NCAA tournament. Morris also earned All-ODAC Tournament honors during his senior campaign. That year, Bridgewater, coached by Curt Kendall, was 16-0 in the league and 27-8 overall. Morris teamed with fellow infielder Allen Snow to set the school double play record. He batted .300 for his career and is second all-time with 69 career walks at Bridgewater. Morris was elected by his teammates as the team 100% award winner all three years at Bridgewater (1994-96), and served as team captain as a senior.
Morris graduated from Bridgewater in 1996 with a Bachelor's Degree in Health and Physical Education. Morris and his wife Amy, also a Portsmouth native and Old Dominion graduate, have been married for eight years and reside in their hometown of Portsmouth, VA. The two are expecting their first child this summer.