Morris will have the advantage of working with the top American judo athletes for two years instead of only a few months.
"I think the full four years is probably optimal so the kids could know who they're going to be working with," said Morris. "But I think instead of waiting till June of '08 to say, 'OK here's your babysitter,' this gives us a much better opportunity to be prepared. This doesn't mean that we're going to win any matches because we're not exactly a powerhouse to start with, but this gives us a fighting chance, I think."
Morris could have several of his JMJC athletes on the U.S. Olympic team. Chandler, Katie Mocco and Glenville native Jeremy Liggett are already ranked No. 1 in the nation, and several more JMJC athletes are ranked No. 2 in their divisions.
"For the ones that are already ranked No. 1, it looks good. They still have a lot of work to do, but they should be able to maintain their No. 1 status," said Morris. "The other ones up and coming have a shot. There's about three or four that have a chance, but it would be a bonus if they went ahead and made the team. I'll be happy to have one player from my team to make it. That's a huge achievement as it is."
Besides his duties with the U.S. national team, Morris has a lot on his plate closer to home. He is moving his judo club from the basement of his Swaggertown Road home to the former home of Prestige Auto Motors on Route 50 before the end of this year, and he's working on plans for the 2007 Morris Cup tournament at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School.
Morris said his wife Teri will be helping him on both the local and national team fronts.