Football, above all else, is a sport predicated on relationships and that is exactly what has drawn Brett Morgan back to Turkey.
When weighing the next steps in his football career, the newly announced head coach of the Yeditepe Eagles simply couldn’t pass up a chance to return to the vibrant city of Istanbul and work once again with Yeditepe’s Director of Football Operations Kasey Crosby.
“I had some other opportunities, but I always knew that I wanted to coach with Kasey again. I love the city of Istanbul and when it finally timed up, it was a no-brainer for me,” Morgan says. “I just feel really strongly about the people I’m working with, about the resources we have at Yeditepe and our opportunities to do really well.”
The Eagles can only hope that the duo can replicate the same Turkish success they demonstrated six years ago.
After connecting through the group Football Coaches International, Morgan first came to Istanbul as head coach and general manager of the Koç Rams, where Crosby served as his defensive coordinator. The pair led the Rams to their first ever national title in 2016, going on to shock the European football community with an upset victory over the Swedish powerhouse Carlstad Crusaders to earn a berth in the IFAF Europe Champions League semi-final.
Now reunited at the other end of the city, Morgan is looking to build to that same type of success.
“You hate to put out a certain finite accomplishment when you’re just getting in there and starting to build a culture and build a team, but I know that every resource we can provide is provided to our players,” he says. “I don’t think there’s any limits on what we can accomplish in Turkey and eventually beyond on the European scale.”
Taking on a challenge of that magnitude is nothing new for Morgan. In a football culture often obsessed with the grind, few put more on their plate than the North Florida graduate. Since the former Florida high school coach broke into the professional ranks as a guest coach with the Calgary Stampeders in 2012, he’s held head coaching roles with Juventude FA in Brazil, Koç and the Firenze Guelfi of Italy, before becoming the Stampeder’s Southeast Area Scout in 2018.
Morgan will continue in that role, which has since expanded to include Global scouting responsibilities, while coaching the Eagles and is slated to unveil an exciting new project for the Global football community in the coming months as well. While others may find that workload daunting, Morgan relishes the opportunity.
“I would not say it’s easy, but I also don’t believe that anything is getting cheapened with my energy and effort. All of those things, I give everything I have and I do believe there’s enough hours in the day,” he explains. “They all are symbiotic in some ways and then in other ways they give me the diverse kind of experiences that I really enjoy. I would say it’s a challenge, but it’s one that I do enjoy taking on.”
The scouting acumen of both he and Crosby is already reaping rewards for the Eagles, with an impressive crew of imports signed on board. Western Carolina all-time receptions leader Terryon Robinson, former Iowa State All-American Brian Peavy-Odums and quarterback Jordan Williams are each top caliber players that bring the high quality of character Morgan hopes to instill at Yeditepe.
Just as he hopes to shape the Eagles‘ culture, Morgan himself has been shaped immeasurably by his experiences abroad, none more so than in Istanbul where he was warmly welcomed into a culture vastly different than any he had known before.
Though he began his global football adventure without grand expectations, the passionate football cultures he has seen first hand has created a path forward he never anticipated, a path that runs through Turkey.
“I think when you set out on a certain path and this other path appears that wasn’t in your plans, you don’t always fully appreciate what’s happening or understand it,” Morgan says. “I think I’m at a stage now where I really appreciate the global football landscape and I’m really excited to invest in it and hopefully be a positive part of it.”