Rare: The college basketball program that loses an assistant coach toward the end of the summer.
Rarer: Losing said coach because he wants to teach math to middle school students.
But that’s now the situation Seton Hall is in. The school on Monday confirmed reports that leaked out Sunday night, that former assistant coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton has left his post with the Pirates and will seek to do what he’d done prior: teach in middle school.
Morton came on as an assistant in 2014, essentially as part of a package deal that helped SHU coach Kevin Willard land five-star talent Isaiah Whitehead. Morton is the father of Trevonn Morton, now a sophomore guard. The younger Morton was a redshirt freshman a season ago. He was also a high school teammate of Whitehead’s. They were both coached by the elder Morton at Brooklyn’s Lincoln High.
Dwayne Morton, who played in the NBA during the 1994-95 season, left Willard in something of a tough spot by bailing just as the fall semester is starting up. Willard said this in SHU’s press release on Monday: “I want to thank Dwayne for his contributions to our program over the last year. He is a terrific coach and mentor for student-athletes, and I understand that he feels his calling is back in teaching. I wish him all the best as he pursues his dream job.”
The bigger perspective on this lies here:
Morton was largely responsible for Isaiah Whitehead going to Seton Hall. Will be interesting to see how Whitehead responds to his departure.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) August 30, 2015
Whitehead’s upcoming season with Seton Hall could wind up being his last. We’ll see. He’s a potential NBA pick down the road. Whitehead was named to the Big East’s All-Rookie team last season, putting up 12.0 points per game.
“I had a great experience at Seton Hall working with coach Willard, my fellow assistant coaches and our student-athletes, but my passion for teaching is strong, and I feel that is where I should be,” Morton said in a written statement. “I wish Seton Hall all the best and am excited to watch the program continue its rise.”