Former Butler football coach Troy Morrell, who led the Grizzlies to three national championships and 12 conference championships in 15 seasons, has been inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony was held Sunday, Oct. 4 at the Wichita Boathouse. Morrell is one of 11 new members of the Hall of Fame, which now has 248 members in its 54th year of operation.
More than two dozen Morrell supporters were on hand for the ceremony, including his family and Butler administrators and donors.
Morrell called the induction a “tremendously humbling experience” during his speech. He noted his roots, from growing up in Atwood to attending high school in Buhler.
Morrell attended Butler from 1989-1991, playing for the 1989 and 1990 Butler football teams. After graduating from Fort Hays State University, he returned to Butler as an assistant coach in 1996. Two years later, he was promoted to be the offensive coordinator, helping Butler win back-to-back national championships in 1998 and 1999.
After James Shibest left Butler, Morrell was named head coach in February 2000. His first team went 10-2, finishing second in the Jayhawk Conference. In 2001, Butler started an unprecedented run of success, winning eight consecutive Jayhawk Conference championships. Morrell would also guide Butler to four straight titles from 2010-2013, giving the Grizzlies 12 titles in 13 years.
Butler played in seven national championship games, winning three of them, in 2003, 2007 and 2008.
Along the way, Morrell compiled a record of 154-22, a winning percentage of .880, the highest in NJCAA history. He coached 70 All-Americans and had more than 160 student-athletes who transferred to NCAA Division I institutions after graduating from Butler.
He was a five-time Jayhawk Conference Coach of the Year and a two-time NJCAA Coach of the Year. During the 2003 national championship season, Morrell was named coach of the year by the NJCAA, American Community College Football Coaches Association, American Football Monthly Magazine and the JUCO Football Network.
Morrell retired from coaching after the 2014 season and now works in private business. He lives in Hutchinson with his wife, Jessica, and children, Dylan and Madelyn.