Morgan State of MEAC football made one of the biggest hires of the HBCU off-season by snagging former Bowie State head coach Damon Wilson.
The 2021 Morgan State football season was one to forget for fans of the program. It was one that ultimately cost former head coach Tyrone Wheatley his job.
Needless to say, the offseason saw some pretty substantial changes to the program.
The first change? A brand new athletic director. The second? hiring arguably the most coveted coaching name in HBCU football circles this side of Deion Sanders, in former Bowie State head coach Damon Wilson.
Let’s break down what this means for Morgan State football (for both the short and long term) going forward. What does this mean for the Bears’ fortunes in the condensed and competitive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)?
One thing’s for sure: there’s renewed hope and excitement for the future of Morgan State football.
A championship pedigree
So, what’s got the masses within the world of HBCU football buzzing about this hire? Look no further than Damon Wilson’s track record at the Division II level for Bowie State University (MD).
A member of the tradition-rich and storied Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA), Bowie State was already a formidable fixture in the conference, as well as the Atlantic region. Wilson’s tenure solidified that dominance and then some.
Let’s break down Wilson’s career at Bowie State by the numbers:
- An 89-45 total W/L record
- 2021 AFCA Division II Coach Of The Year
- 2021 National Quarterfinalist – DII Playoffs
- 2021 No. 6 Final National Ranking
- 3 consecutive CIAA Titles (2018, 2019, 2021)
- 6 CIAA Divisional titles (2009, 2015-2021)
To say that Wilson’s run at Bowie was a ‘dominant’ one would be an understatement. His teams simply win games, and they do so methodically — systematically.
During this period, he’s also become one of the more respected recruiters on the Division II landscape, mining the talent-rich DC/Metro area (and transfer market) to build those rock-solid, smashmouth teams. The Morgan State faithful are looking to see that recruiting and team-building prowess carry over to a program that’s also smack dab in the middle of a talent-rich football area (Baltimore).
The competition for the MSU job was pretty notable in its own right, with Baltimore Ravens legends Ed Reed and Ray Lewis heavily being considered for the job.
What can we expect?
Those Bowie State squads were built from the lines up. An emphasis on defensive and offensive line play was a trademark for Bowie State’s success, and it should be the foundation for MSU’s march to being a factor in HBCU football.
Will we see the same kind of recruiting success that Bowie benefited from? The potential is definitely there to do so, with the right staff acquisitions.
It remains to be seen just how Coach Wilson will implement his vision for winning in Baltimore, but we know that the appetite for a winner is there. It’s going to be extremely entertaining watching the growth of this program under his leadership.