After longtime Milano head coach Chad LaGrone retired this offseason, the Eagles hired internally, naming assistant Nick Morehead as the school’s next head coach this past Thursday.
Milano is a city of 421 people, according to a 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, and is located roughly 60 miles northeast of Austin and 40 miles west of College Station. Morehead has been on staff at Milano since 2014, serving as the offensive line coach for all seven years and the defensive coordinator for the past four.
“It means a lot for me to be able to stay here and become head football coach because I know these kids and have built relationships with them since they were in 6th grade,” Morehead said. “I grew up and went to high school right down the road in Rockdale, but the Milano community has really taken me in and made it home for me.”
On the gridiron, he will have big shoes to fill after LaGrone’s retirement. LaGrone had two separate stints (1996-2003 and 2014-2020) as the head man at Milano and finished with a 73-84 overall record. His most successful season came in 2017 when the Eagles went 11-2 and made a run to the regional semifinals.
After making the playoffs for six consecutive years from 2013-2018, the Eagles have struggled in recent times with just three wins combined in the past two seasons. This past season, they finished with a 2-7 record and averaged just under 11 points per game offensively.
“My initial goal for this team is to get kids to come out and play and to get back to the playoffs,” Morehead said. “We finished last year really short-handed with about 14 healthy guys on the roster.”
Even with the lack of numbers towards the end of last season, sophomore running back Josh Millar still shined. He earned District 13-2A Division II Newcomer of the Year and had a number of big games on the season, including a 189-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 24-6 win over Bartlett.
Morehead is excited about his potential, considering Millar has grown two inches and added 20 pounds of muscle this offseason to bulk up to a 6’2,” 200-pound frame.
“He is a difference maker and is one of the hardest working guys we have,” Morehead said. “He is a strong and physical runner and fast enough to break one at any time. He is the most physical player I have ever coached and is just a very special athlete.”
Morehead also said that he will look to lean on more depth this year to bolster the Eagles’ backfield options alongside Millar.
“We have multiple guys that can carry the football,” Morehead said. “[Millar] will not see the workload he saw last year, but he will definitely be the difference maker and a big part of our offense.”
With Millar leading the way, Morehead said he is excited to see what his team can achieve this year as the Eagles look to break a two-year playoff drought.
“I am excited about our potential this coming year,” Morehead said. “We have a handful of seniors and a big and athletic junior class that could lead to a lot of success for our program.”