Davidson basketball coach Bob McKillop praised new Panther president Danny Morrison Wednesday as “a classy gentleman” and "consensus builder" predicted Morrison would do well in his new high-profile role with the Carolina Panthers.
“He makes a great appearance,” McKillop said of Morrison. “He can disarm you. But I think he’s tough, too. You can’t take advantage of him.”
Morrison’s hiring – one day after the stunning resignation of brothers Mark and Jon Richardson from the organization – continued the news binge in Pantherland.
For the past four years, Morrison has been the athletic director at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Prior to that he was also the athletic director at Wofford (where he helped manage the transition of that small college into a Division I-AA program and into becoming the Panthers’ training camp home for the past 15 years).
My dealings with Morrison mainly came while he was at Wofford. He struck me as a charming man – always dressed nicely, always glad-handing folks, always walking around and making sure everything was OK. I remember him frequently wearing a button-down blue dress shirt and a tie on 95-degree days at Wofford, strolling around the training-camp practices but never seeming to sweat. (That sounds just like something Jerry Richardson would do, and in fact it is).
I don’t claim to know Morrison as well as McKillop, though, who saw Morrison’s efforts up close while Morrison was the commissioner of the Southern Conference (which includes Davidson) from 2001-05.
“Danny was a consensus builder,” McKillop said. “He dealt with a lot of different schools – state schools, private schools, recent members of the conference and schools that had been in it for 60 years. And he was often able to build some type of consensus despite dealing with a lot of significant differences between the schools.”
Morrison, 55, leaves a very good job to come to an even better job. He will have Mark Richardson’s duties – running the business side of the Panther operations. I think Morrison will do just fine. He’s got the Wofford connection with Richardson (they both went to school there). He’s a good businessman. He’s both an outsider and and an old friend of the Richardson family, and he can work all that to his advantage.
Morrison’s hiring comes out of left field in two senses. Reaching all the way to Texas is a long way to go to find the next team president, and Morrison has absolutely no experience in an NFL front office. But overall he’s a safe choice during this very surprising week.
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