Morgan State University Taps Championship-Winning Coach to Lead Bears Football
Damon Wilson Takes Over Reins as 23rd Head Coach, Bringing Successful Record of Building a Competitive Program
BALTIMORE – Morgan State University today announced the hiring of Damon Wilson as the Athletics Department’s 23rd head football coach, effective June 1, 2022. Wilson, who brings a championship-level coaching pedigree and an extensive resume in collegiate football, replaces former Bears Head Football Coach Tyrone Wheatley, who left the program for a role as a position coach with the National Football League’s Denver Broncos.
Wilson comes to Morgan after serving for 13 seasons as the head football coach at Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland. There, he achieved three straight Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) conference championships, in 2021, 2019 and 2018; five NCAA playoff berths; and three CIAA Coach of the Year honors.
“In Coach Damon Wilson, we have secured a high-caliber, proven leader, with an impressive record of winning, to oversee our football program and elevate it back to national prominence,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “Among the top-level coaching candidates that the incoming athletic director and I had the pleasure of evaluating, Coach Wilson was the standout, possessing an uncanny ability to recruit and mold talent. We welcome him to the Morgan team and look forward to his collaboration with Athletic Director Dena Freeman-Patton to earn Morgan a football championship.”
Because of the unexpected departures of both the former head football coach and athletic director, Morgan was compelled to initiate simultaneous national searches, with a higher priority on filling the latter. Upon her hiring, the incoming athletic director, Dena Freeman-Patton, began consulting with the firm conducting the search for the next head football coach, to review potential candidates and provide feedback/recommendations to President Wilson.
“Working closely with higher education placement firm Renaissance Search and Consulting, in conjunction with the University’s internal advisory committee, we were able to conduct a thorough and inclusive national search for the Bear’s next head coach,” said Freeman-Patton. “I thank everyone involved in this comprehensive effort, including the stellar candidates who were evaluated. Coach Wilson was our top choice, and I look forward to working with him to build a successful program and continue ‘The Morgan Way.’”
The University will host a press conference on June 10, 2022, at 10 a.m. in the University Student Center to officially introduce Wilson as Morgan’s new head football coach. The press conference will also be live streamed via the University’s and athletics department websites.
Before assuming his most recent head coaching role, Wilson served as assistant head coach/running backs coach at Prairie View A&M University and as running backs coach/special teams coordinator for Texas Southern University. His coaching background also includes two previous stops at Bowie State University: as strength and conditioning/running backs coach and special teams coordinator (2007–2008) and as associate head/running backs coach and special teams coordinator (1999–2004).
His accolades include American Football Coaches Association Division II Coach of the Year (2021), Bowie State University Coach of the Year (2019, 2018, 2015, 2009) and CIAA Northern Division Champion (2021, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015, 2009). He also assisted in fundraising for the building of a new, $1.1-million synthetic football field in 2010.
“Thank you to President Wilson and Ms. Freeman-Patton for presenting me with this opportunity to lead such a storied football program as its next head coach,” said Coach Wilson. “Morgan is a great university in a great position to grow. I look forward to working with the student-athletes to build on the University’s legacy as well as engaging with the alumni and other supporters of the program to ensure that our student-athletes have the support needed for them to be successful on and off the playing field."
Coach Wilson was a standout student-athlete before joining the coaching ranks, playing for the team he currently coaches. He holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication from Bowie State University.
He is a member of the American Football Coaches Association, CIAA Coaches Association, National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Wilson is married to Morgan State alumna Allison Dunn Wilson, and they have a son Dylan.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
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Leonard Haynes IV, for Athletic Communications