James Morton

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2017 Sherwood Award Winner

Coach James MortonJames Morton is a 1983 graduate of Eastland High School. He helped lead the football team to the 1982 Class 2A State Championship. He went to Ranger Community College and West Texas State University carving a niche at both places. After his senior season he had a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Morton then served one season at his alma mater as a GA, one season at Richmond University and another year back at his alma mater.

Coach Morton spent one year as an assistant with the Friona Chieftains and the next 5 years as the head coach/athletic director. The Chieftains had much success including winning their first District 1-3A title since 1965. They also had a State Semifinal appearance.

Coach Greg Sherwood hired James in 1998 as the head coach/athletic coordinator for the Lubbock Monterey Plainsmen . He led the Plainsmen to the post season 9 times in his 11 years. The Plainsmen won or tied for 6 District Championships and reached the Division 1 quarterfinals four straight seasons.

In 2009, Coach Morton went to Midland as the head coach/athletic coordinator for the Midland Lee Rebels. He spent 7 years guiding the Rebels to play off appearances and co-District Champions.

In 2016, James Morton became head coach/athletic director for his hometown, the Eastland Mavericks. The Mavericks made an appearance to the 3 A Division 2 Area round football playoffs this past season.

James served on the Texas High School Coaches Association Board of Directors for four years. In 2009, he was inducted into the West Texas A&M University Hall of Champions.

In 2003, the West Texas Classic was created. Coach Johnny Taylor and Coach Morton had a vision to bring an All-Star game to the West Texas area, as well as help players who had been permanently injured while playing or practicing the game of football. In 2004, the West Texas Classic became the ASCO All-Star Classic, which now includes both boys and girls basketball. Coach Morton has been instrumental in raising nearly $245,000 through these games.

James has been married to Suni for 21 years. They have 3 children: McKayla, Maggie McKall and Behren.

Coach Greg Sherwood’s framed photo has held a special place in James’ office for years. This photo serves as a daily reminder to serve others, display leadership and character, and most importantly the love James had for Coach Sherwood. James has received various awards and accolades, but none will be as heart-felt as the Coach Greg Sherwood Award.