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Morris named head coach of Checkers

Ron Francis, executive vice president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has hired Mark Morris as the head coach of its American Hockey League affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

In addition, the team has re-signed Geordie Kinnear as Charlotte’s assistant coach.

“Mark is an experienced head coach whose teams never had a losing record in 21 seasons at Clarkson and with Manchester,” said Francis. “He is a proven teacher of the game who has been a part of developing successful NHL players.”

Morris, 57, spent the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers. Prior to that, he spent eight seasons as the head coach of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs, compiling a career regular-season record of 338-251-39 (.569). He ranks 10th all-time in wins by an AHL head coach, and he guided the Monarchs to the Calder Cup Playoffs in seven of his eight seasons, including trips to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2007 and 2010.

Morris assisted in advancing many NHL careers and turning Monarchs players into Stanley Cup champions; more than half of the Kings’ 2012 and 2014 championship teams were coached by Morris in Manchester, including Jonathan Quick, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson, Trevor Lewis, Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, Kyle Clifford and Alec Martinez.

Morris, who was 306-156-42 in 14-plus seasons at Clarkson University from 1988-2002, is the only coach in history with at least 300 wins at both the professional and U.S. collegiate levels.

Prior to coaching, Morris played three seasons professionally, mostly in the AHL with the New Haven Nighthawks from 1981-84.