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Tyndall native Chuck Morrell moves to Washington to take on co-defensive coordinator duties

Morrell will coach safeties along with directing the Huskies' defense

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Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium is pictured before a Nov. 26, 2021 game between the Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars in Seattle, Washington. (Joe Nicholson. / USA TODAY Sports)
USA TODAY Sports

SEATTLE — A new coaching job for a South Dakota native at a Power Five college football program has led to the same for one of his assistant coaches who also hails from the state.

Washington head football coach Kalen DeBoer, a Milbank native, has announced his entire coaching staff for next season as DeBoer takes over the Huskies’ coaching job. Among them includes safeties coach and Tyndall native Chuck Morrell, who will hold the same position at Washington and will split co-defensive coordinator duties with linebacker William Inge. Both come to Washington from Fresno State, where DeBoer was head coach the last two seasons.

Morrell, a former head coach at Montana Tech and defensive coordinator under DeBoer at Sioux Falls, spent the last two years on DeBoer's Fresno State staff as the safeties coach. A Bon Homme High School graduate, Morrell was a teammate of DeBoer's at Sioux Falls, when they both helped the Cougars to the 1996 NAIA Division II national title. Morrell led the 1996 team in tackles.

"Having coached with Coach Morrell for 12 years, I have seen first-hand the ability he has to build attacking and dominant defenses," DeBoer said in a Washington news release. "He is also an experienced and highly successful former head coach who will bring expertise and perspective to our program beyond just leading the defense. I am truly excited to have him and his family joining our UW football program."

He began his career at Sioux Falls as defensive backs coach and then spent the next 11 years as defensive coordinator, a span that included all five of DeBoer's seasons as head coach.

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Morrell's 2008 USF defense was one of the most dominant in NAIA history as the Cougars allowed just 5.9 points, 14.7 rushing yards and 94.7 passing yards per game while going 14-0. USF opponents managed just a 17-percent third-down conversion rate and just 105 first downs all season.

The following season (DeBoer's last), Sioux Falls allowed just 10.5 points and 210.5 yards of total offense per game, en route to a 15-0 record and another NAIA championship. When DeBoer left Sioux Falls, Morrell became defensive coordinator at Division I University of South Dakota for one season before taking over as head coach at Montana Tech prior to the 2011 season.

In nine seasons as the Orediggers' head coach, Morrell compiled a 52-44 overall record, won three Frontier Conference championships, and three conference coach of the year awards. His teams made three trips to the NAIA Championships, twice reaching the quarterfinals. He left Montana Tech in 2020, when DeBoer offered him a position on his staff at Fresno State. In 2021, he coached first-team All-Mountain West safety Evan Williams.

Washington was 4-8 in 2021, and opens the 2022 season on Sept. 3 against Kent State.

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