Following an extremely disappointing 2017 season, the Incarnate Word Cardinals have optimism in the form of a new head coach and a new attitude thanks to a change in culture.
After spending the last five seasons as the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech, Eric Morris will make his head coaching debut when UIW kicks off the 2018 season on September 1 in New Mexico.
“We’ve got a bunch of spots that haven’t been solidified yet,” he said of his roster. “We have eight transfers, a total of 22 new guys. Some freshman and a bunch of spots These walkthroughs are important so guys know where to go and when to go there.”
At the team’s media on campus Tuesday, Morris expressed the players have bought into his culture change and that has produced solid development on and off the field.
“I think its a good thing for us as a football club,” he said. “If we want to build a solid product on the field, then we must have good things happen off the field. The guys have responded well to it and you can see it in the way they carry themselves. There is no me-me attitude.”
UIW went 1-12 last season and is looking to give fans a reason to come out to the newly renovated Benson Stadium. One of the returning players feeling the change is Junior Quarterback Sean Brophy.
“Everyone is excited,” he said. “Everyone is excited for the changes that have gone on around here and the potential for this year. Last year was a tough year but see a lot of opportunity with a new staff we want to get out there a win a few ball games with Coach Morris.”
Brophy is just one of four guys competing for the starting quarterback job. Morris mentioned in his press conference that he will eventually have his top two in mind as practices and training sessions roll on.
“Another year more comfortable and at the school,” he said. “The offense that has been implemented is a good direction for where the offense wants to go.”
The main thing for UIW after the changes to their stadium, coaching staff, and a retooled roster and attitude is results. Morris has brought out a very different perspective from his players and that has led to excitement in the locker room.
“Going into the season, we’re excited,” Brophy said. “We’re excited about the opportunity Coach Morris brings.”
Incarnate Word opens the 2018 season on the road in New Mexico on September 1.