FRIDAY FEATURE

Wabash Track & Field doesn’t miss a beat in 2021, wins 15th NCAC Title

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Clyde Morgan’s recipe for success is very simple.

Culture over everything.

And it works. Year after year, Wabash track and field is the top team in the North Coast Athletic Conference and produces some of the best athletes in the region and beyond. 

This spring Wabash won its 15th NCAC track and field title. COVID-19 may have canceled the 2020 outdoor season, but it never slowed the Little Giants quest for success.

“It really started with the administration in the fact that they wanted to figure out a way to allow our guys to compete,” Wabash Director or Track and Field and Cross Country Clyde Morgan said. “We were blessed, because there were a lot throughout the country that just weren’t even trying. So the fact that we had people in our corner wanting to figure it out, that’s always a positive there.”

Morgan arrived from his alma mater Thiel College (Greenville, PA) in 2008. Since, he’s produced 68 NCAA Division III National Track and Field Championship qualifiers with 38 All-Americans, three national champions, and two national second-place finishers.

And it all comes back to the culture he’s built in Crawfordsville.

“It’s been our culture,” he said. “One of my coaching philosophies, which should change and develop as you do, it became culture over everything. Culture over training, recruiting. Because if you have a toxic culture, those things aren’t going to matter anyway.

“We are positive. Our work and grind and culture of team help us all the time through any type of adversity.” 

After growing up in Youngstown, OH, Morgan chose Thiel College in sought of a challenge to know people different than him. His choice to embrace diversity at a young age has helped him become a leader both at Wabash College outside of track and field and within the Crawfordsville community.

“That’s how I was raised,” he said. “To open your mind up and adjust. So it wasn’t really hard for me. I come from a predominantly black area in the city and I chose to go to a small historically white college out in the middle of nowhere because I wanted a challenge. I wanted to know people different than me.”

Morgan and his family have made Crawfordsville their home in the last 13 years. Making the decision to stay at Wabash an easy one.

“To be able to see my wife (Jennifer) connect with people,” Morgan said. “She’s worked at the middle school, she’s coached girls basketball at the high school and middle school track. And the fact that she started connecting with folks and seeing her happiness with people in town and the community and then watching my kids. Family is important to me. So if my family is adjusts and they’re happy, then I can figure it out. That’s always been my philosophy.”

Morgan said he views getting involved as the right thing to do. He helped coach his son Ziair’s class in football from a young age, and has been active in the local ‘Man Up’ program. Ziair will be a senior at Crawfordsville High School this fall.

Morgan made a choice with his family to embrace the Montgomery County community when they moved here in 2008, the same as the community chooses to embrace Wabash College. It’s a bond that not all small colleges and universities have with the towns they reside in — but one that benefits each other on a daily basis.

“The longer we’ve stayed here, we’ve just connected with a lot of good hearted, hard working people, who are about diversity and about doing the right things,” Morgan said. “And for me the support that Crawfordsville has for Wabash and vice-versa, I knew it was special then. Because you have a lot of small college towns where you don’t have that great relationship. The W means something here.”

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