When Notre Dame played host to Cleveland State a few weeks ago, Notre Dame men’s coach Tim Welsh wasn’t the only one who was closing a chapter on his career.
The coach of the Irish’s opponents, Cleveland State’s Wally Morton, was also celebrating the end of his regular season career, and at this weekend’s Horizon League Championships in his home pool could very well be coaching the last meet of his career – though the Cleveland State men have a handful of guys within striking distance of NCAA qualifying, including senior sprinter Alex Lewis and senior 200 butterflier Justin Kermack.
But if this weekend does wind up being the last meet for Morton on deck as the coach of Cleveland State, he will leave with the admiration of most of his peers. In 32 years at Cleveland State, he has 361 dual meet victories to his credit. In post-season action, he’s got 14 Penn-Ohio Championships, two Midwestern Collegiate Conference championships, and a Horizon League championship to boot. He’s sent five swimmers to the NCAA Championships, and many more to the Olympic Trials.
But even more than that – Morton has been a model for producing a financially-stable swimming program. His men’s program is approximately 50% paid for by an endowment that Morton has worked with his administration and alumni to create.
In today’s culture of collegiate athletics – there are few more powerful titles for a men’s swimming program than “50% endowed, and building,” and for that, almost every program in the country should be envious of what Morton has built at Cleveland State and will leave to his successor.
To coach Morton, a final huzzah, for the indelible memories left upon the Cleveland State program, both for those specific athletes who you touched in over three decades of work, and for the future countless numbers of athletes who will benefit from your financial vision and innovation.