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|Last College:||32nd Year|
With over 300 combined wins in his 31 years as a head coach at Cleveland State, Wally Morton has secured his legacy as one of the greatest coaches in Viking history.
Morton has led the men's team to double-digit wins 15 times, including each of the past 11 seasons. In 28 of his 31 seasons the men have finished .500 or better, with the team obtaining a winning percentage of .700 or higher a remarkable 14 times. Since taking over as coach in 2007, the women's team has also experienced an unprecedented level of success, winning 41 dual meets over the past three seasons with the team taking second at the 2011-12 Horizon League Championships.
Named the Director of Competitive Aquatics in 2007, Morton is entering his 39th season with the men's program and his sixth with the women's team. Prior to being named the head coach of the men's program in 1981, he spent seven years as an assistant coach with the Vikings.
While coaching the men, Morton has compiled a record of 288-149-2, including an 11-4 record this past year. His successful tenure includes 14 Penn-Ohio Championships, a pair of Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) titles, a Horizon League Championship and an astounding 28 seasons with a .500 or better record. In his coaching career, Morton has led five athletes to qualify for the NCAA Championships, including three appearances by 2009 All-American Jakub Dobies. Last season the men set four Cleveland State records (three individual and one relay) en route to a second place finish at the Horizon League Championships.
Over the last six years, Morton has also turned the women's program into a contender, including a 12-3 season in 2011-12, those 12 wins gave Morton his third straight season with double digit wins for the women. Morton has led the men to a record of 123-40-1 over the past 12 seasons, and the women to a record of 49-21 over the last four seasons.
The 2005-06 Horizon League Coach of the Year, Morton led the Viking men to back-to-back MCC titles in 1998 and 1999 and was named the MCC Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1999. He was also named the Coach of the Year of the Penn-Ohio Conference six times, including a stretch of three straight seasons from 1984-86.
Morton's success on the pool deck is affirmed by the number of successful athletes he has coached during his career at CSU. He has led countless swimmers to the United States Senior Swimming Nationals and five to the NCAA Championships. His success has also translated internationally with Nedim Nisic competing in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Two other CSU swimmers under Morton's direction have gone on to be Olympic Trials finalists and the Vikings got their first All-American in school history in Dobies in 2009. In 2010, both Dobies and Mark deSwardt earned Mid-Major All-American Honorable Mention accolades.
Morton joined the CSU staff in 1974 as the Aquatic Director of the brand-new Cleveland State University Natatorium while also serving as an assistant coach with the men's swim team. Following the retirement of coaching legend Bob Busbey in 1981, Morton was named the head coach and has since brought regional and national prominence to the Vikings. In addition to coaching, Morton has been extensively involved in event management for 38 national and international aquatic events as the University's Aquatics Director and has overseen four NCAA Division I Championships and many regional and international competitions hosted by Cleveland State.
Due to his vast experience in coaching and hosting championship swimming events, Morton has become a well-known face in the swimming world, allowing for international recruiting. During his tenure, he has successfully recruited athletes from a number of countries including Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.
A 1970 Miami (Ohio) graduate, Morton was a member of back-to-back Mid-American Conference Championship swim teams in 1966 and 1967.
The winningest coach in Cleveland State swimming history, Morton credits his successful coaching career to two great influences: Tom Patton of the Dover, Ohio YMCA and former USA Olympic coach Busbey, who Morton had the privilege to serve under for his first seven years with the Vikings. In addition to his duties with the swim teams, Morton is also a faculty member in the Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Department at CSU. Morton and his wife, Carol, a professor at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, have one son, Robert. They reside in Strongsville, Ohio.