For Alpine Fightin’ Bucks boys basketball coach Hugh Morrissey, juggling the responsibilities of family life, a teaching career, and coaching young athletes has allowed him to achieve another milestone in his life - obtaining a doctorate.
An El Paso native, Morrissey first came to Alpine to attend Sul Ross State University in the early 2000s, where he majored in kinesiology and biology, and for four years played point guard on the Lobos basketball team.
He then went on to teach biology at Alpine High School, where he served as boys head basketball coach, and assistant coach for football, baseball, volleyball, and track.
Despite his professional success, Morrissey was determined to pursue a doctorate degree. In 2013, Morrissey enrolled at the U.S. Sports Academy, a fully accredited online school that has become a resource for sports education. It took seven years for Morrissey to finally obtain his doctorate, as he juggled teaching, coaching, and taking classes. Morrissey recently obtained his diploma, majoring in sports management, with a specialization in health and fitness.
“I went to get my doctorate to open up doors for the future,” said Morrissey. “Continuing your education to better yourself always makes you a better person and a better coach.”
This past summer, Morrissey also completed a research dissertation pertaining specifically to basketball analytics, which he can apply to his coaching duties.
His goal is to be coaching or teaching at the college level, and Morrissey hopes reaching this educational milestone will steer him closer to that goal.
Morrissey has not only coached son Aiden since he was a little one, but also his teammates throughout the years, whether for Little League baseball or Little Dribblers basketball, and now those kids are on the high school basketball team.
Morrissey exclaimed, “I have a really great group of seniors. With the experience this year, and with a great group of guys, I think we will have a pretty good team this year!”
Wife Sharon, an Alpine Elementary School teacher, is an active and supportive sports mom who loves watching her kids play. Daughter Gillian is in fifth grade, and plays for an Alpine traveling softball team, as well as volleyball. Son Aiden is a junior at the high school, and also a multi-sport athlete for the Fightin’ Bucks.
It’s all in the family for Morrissey as he also reflects on the impact he has made with both the Fightin’ Bucks teams and on Aiden.
“I love coaching him,” he said. “It’s one of those things we can look back one day. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”