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Plum hires ex-Pitt, NFL player Morgan as coach

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By George Guido
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 11:15 p.m.

Matt Morgan reached the pinnacle of football.

After a successful career at Plum, he started four seasons for Pitt, then suited up for the Rams and the Bills in the NFL.

Now, Morgan has accepted the task of trying to turn around the football program at his alma mater.

Morgan was hired as Mustangs football coach Tuesday night by an 8-0 vote.

“It's pretty exciting,” Morgan said. “I had been pacing back and forth all day; I thought I was in the NFL again.”

Morgan replaces Frank Sacco, who coached the Mustangs the past four seasons and compiled a 10-28 record.

Sacco's teams reached the WPIAL playoffs in 2009 and '10, but the Mustangs have struggled the past two seasons.

The 1999 Plum graduate was an assistant coach at Gateway the past three seasons.

“We needed a change in direction,” school board member Kevin Dowdell said. “He will bring enthusiasm to the kids. The change will be good for the kids.”

“I want to thank Coach Sacco for all the hard work and dedication he put into the program and the groundwork he laid for the program,” board member Joe Tommarello said.

The Mustangs have lost their last 16 games, a school record.

“I know we've only won one game the past two years, but I ultimately have to get the kids believing in football in this district,” Morgan said.

Morgan plans to meet with prospective players Wednesday.

With former Gateway coach Terry Smith leaving the school for a position with Temple University, it frees his former assistants to go elsewhere.

“I know some very solid guys coming with me from Gateway,” Morgan said as he begins the search for a staff. “One of Terry's strengths was structuring Gateway like a college or NFL team. I've learned a lot from him.”

Trib Total Media staff writer Karen Zapf contributed to this story. George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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