Luis Orta earns first team All-SEC honors; team has best finish since 1992
Thomas Morgan, former University of Kentucky student-athlete and 2003 Southeastern Conference cross-country champion, is entering his second season as assistant coach of distance events with UK.
"I am thrilled to have Thomas returning to UK as my assistant coach," said head coach Don Weber one year ago. "He's not only returning to UK, but his hometown of Lexington as well. As a former UK athlete I know how meaningful the opportunity to coach at UK was to me, and I am certain it is meaningful to Thomas.
"In thirty years of coaching at UK, Thomas was one of our all-time success stories as a student and as an athlete, so bringing him back into the program is very exciting, rewarding and comforting to me. Thomas will be a great role model for our athletes. He started his UK career with modest athletic credentials, but based on who he is, he developed into one of the nation's very best collegiate distance runners while simultaneously excelling in the classroom."
Morgan joins Kentucky after a five-year stint with the Zap Fitness Foundation, Inc., as a professional athlete and support staff member. While at Zap Fitness, he traveled to countless domestic competitions of all levels and took five trips to Europe, meeting many influential figures in the track and field community. As a support staff member and camp counselor, Morgan provided support in hosting running camps that included speaking to groups of up to 500 people on running-related topics such as nutrition, lifestyle, mental strategies and racing experiences.
"I consider it a great privilege to return to the institution that provided me so many opportunities, both athletically and academically," Morgan said. "I am looking forward to providing that same opportunity to the current student-athletes and fostering an environment of success."
In 2004 and 2008, Morgan qualified and participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 5,000-meter run as a member of Zap Fitness. Using the experience gained in 2004, Morgan had his best performance at the trials in 2008 when he placed 10th in the 5,000m run with a time of 13:47.76. Also in 2008, he finished ranked in the top-100 5,000m runners in the world and seventh-fastest American with a time of 13:27.45.
While at the University of Kentucky, Morgan was a two-time All-America honoree for his performance in the distance medley relay in 2001 and 2003. The former Wildcat student-athlete was also a five-time All-SEC performer, twice in cross country, once in indoor track and twice for outdoor track. He was a seven-time NCAA Championship qualifier as well, twice in cross country, three times in indoor track and twice during the outdoor season. Morgan broke a 32-year-old school record in the 5,000m run during his final outdoor season at Kentucky with a time of 13:45.57. He stands in the top five in three events, and the top 10 in three other events in the Kentucky record books, including first in the outdoor 5,000m, third in the indoor 3,000m, fourth in the indoor 5,000m, sixth in the indoor mile, sixth in the outdoor 1,500m and sixth in the 3,000m steeplechase.
Morgan graduated in May 2003 from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor of business administration in finance and later a masters of business administration in 2005.