2018 is an exciting year. New energy, new players and new faces of Cardinal Athletics coaching staff are electrifying UIW sports fans and earning new ones. Meet five new UIW coaches who are changing the game.
Head Coach, UIW Football
Growing up, Eric Morris’ family followed three important guidelines: faith, family and football. “We call them the three Fs,” he said. “I don’t think I could have picked a better institution in America to help me grow in those three areas.” Morris joined the Cardinals as UIW Football head coach in December 2017 coming from Texas Tech University where he served as the offensive coordinator for the past five seasons. During his tenure with the Red Raiders, he helped the team break records, make three bowl appearances and take their place among top program rankings. What’s more, he’s also been called “one of the brightest offensive minds in college football” by Texas Tech Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury. At UIW, the excitement for fall’s new season is bubbling. Not only is he injecting new energy into the program thanks to a roster that includes 20 new players, but his “players first” approach ensures that football student-athletes are at the core of the game. The future of UIW football is bright, he says. “It’s something I’m excited to be a part of.”
Follow the action @UIW_Football
Head Coach, UIW Volleyball
After six seasons coaching beach and indoor volleyball at the University of North Florida (UNF), it was UIW Volleyball that brought San Antonio native Samantha Dabbs back home. Dabbs brings with her a lot of energy, enthusiasm and a long track record of success that started in the Alamo City. A standout player at Churchill High School, she graduated as the No. 22 college recruit in the nation, according to PrepVolleyball.com. She took that strength to the University of Louisville and then Louisiana State University, where she took home a host of honors. She brought that winning strategy to her coaching career, and at UNF her teams broke records, earned tournament titles and ascended to championship play. This year, Dabbs is already at work preparing for a dynamic new season. Led by Dabbs, supported by new Assistant Coach Evan Case and powered by talented players, it will be exciting to see what big things UIW Volleyball serves up.
Follow the action @UIWVolleyball
Head Coach, UIW Baseball
Since UIW Baseball Head Coach Patrick Hallmark started, there hasn’t been a single day that the team hasn’t worked hard on the field, he told Cardinal Athletics. “The guys are all in.” That dedication is evident. Under Hallmark’s leadership, UIW Baseball is in the midst of an exciting season, even beating out No. 30-ranked Notre Dame. The former pitching coach at the University of Missouri helped the team reach the third round of the Southeastern Conference tournament and two pitchers reach the SEC’s Top 10. A former coach at Rice University, his guidance spurred the team to earn national recognition and take part in the College World Series three years in a row. Hallmark has brought next-level coaching and big-league buzz to UIW, and it’s only the beginning.
Follow the action @UIWBaseball
Head Coach, UIW Women’s Soccer
Emma Wright-Cates has joked that she swam an ocean to come and play. A native of England, Wright-Cates crossed the pond when she was 19 to play stateside at the collegiate level. After a winning college career at Central Connecticut State and Slippery Rock University, she became a powerhouse coach. As a college coach, she helped the Division I Southeastern Louisiana University Lions advance to the Southland Conference semifinals two years in a row, and she led the George Washington University Colonials to claim more than double their victories over a year. As a club director and coach, she led the Fort Worth Panthers, a member of the Women’s Premier Soccer League. At UIW, Wright-Cates is putting that vast experience to work energizing players, bringing new talent on board and building a strong soccer culture.
Follow the action @UIWWomensSoccer
Dr. Carson Cunningham
Head Coach, UIW Men’s basketball
The newest addition to Cardinal Athletics, Dr. Carson Cunningham, joined UIW as head coach of men’s basketball in March. As a former head coach at Carroll College in Montana, Cunningham became an agent of change for the men’s hoops team. In just five years, he transformed a team with two wins in the regular season into a successful program boasting four consecutive winning seasons, two Frontier Conference Tournament championships and three NAIA National Tournament spots. Cunningham led student-athletes to take home all-conference honors and earned himself the 2017-18 Frontier Conference Coach of the Year award. A former-student athlete at Oregon State University and Purdue University, he worked to excel in both athletics and academics, earning Academic All-American honors twice. Cunningham has played basketball professionally in the United States and abroad, and he is the author of five books.
Follow the action @UIWmenshoops