Utah State coach Stew Morrill to retire at end of season

LOGAN, Utah (AP) Stew Morrill is retiring as Utah State's basketball coach at the end of the season.

Morrill announced the decision Friday.

The 62-year-old Morrill is in his 17th season with the Aggies and 29th as a college head coach.

''I know it's the right time to make this decision,'' Morrill said. ''I am looking forward to some new freedoms and bugging my wife, Vicki, on a daily basis. ... I am looking forward to the remainder of this season, but then I believe the Utah State basketball program will benefit by having a new `voice' as its head coach.''

Athletic director Scott Barnes said the school will immediately begin the search for a replacement and will have no other announcement until a coach has been hired after the completion of the season.

Morrill is 393-149 at Utah State and 611-287 overall. He was 97-52 in five seasons at Montana and 121-86 in seven seasons at Colorado State. He played at Gonzaga and was an assistant coach at his alma mater and Montana.

''It is never easy when a coach and a person who has built a program to greatness retires, but I am proud to have worked with him,'' Barnes said. ''We will miss him and I wish him nothing but the best in the next phase of his life, whistle-free.''

Utah State is 9-6 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain West Conference this season.

''This is a good group, this group that I'm finishing with,'' Morrill said. ''They're trying hard. They're trying hard. We're young, we're inexperienced, and it's just as I told them, I'm just so pleased to be finishing with this group of kids. I don't know how they'll finish the rest of the way, but we're going to have fun, we're going to play hard and we're going to see what we can do.''

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