By Lauren Bates, Contributor
To many, teachers and mentors create and foster inspiration in others. They are guides and gurus of their fields, and often looked up to by peers and pupils alike.
“Growing up I always had a close relationship with them (teachers). They were my role models,” said Dan Morrow, a UNO alumni and former Maverick basketball star.
Morrow credits those relationships he developed in his time at UNO as the reason he decided to go into teaching.
In the 2001/02 season, Morrow started in all but one game. He was second on the team in three-pointers, and fourth in steals. Morrow led the team in scoring, and scored in double figures 12 times. The UNO alum also shared the lead in rebounds and finished fifth in career three-pointers with 115.
Morrow worked hard the summer before his senior year, said former men’s basketball coach Kevin McKenna. He was a starter with experience, and his shooting and rebounding skills were crucial for the Mavs, McKenna said. Morrow took the reins and became a vocal leader in the offseason, his former coach added.
After he graduated from UNO, Morrow became a substitute teacher in Kearney, Neb. He worked as a substitute for about a year when his wife accepted a job in Olathe, Kan. They have lived there for the last six years.
Morrow teaches physical education and health studies classes at South High School. As a physical education teacher, he is able to continue his passion for basketball by coaching the boy’s sophomore team.
The most challenging part of the job is doing more with less, he said. Like most of the school’s in the country, his school has dealt with budget cuts. Morrow said class sizes are larger than usual and often supplies are paid for out of the teachers’ pockets.
Watching children grow into young adults is one of the most gratifying benefits of teaching, he said.
“You see kids grow and develop over multiple years, into nice young men and women.”