Utah State's Stew Morrill to retire

Utah State coach Stew Morrill is retiring after the season, the school announced Friday.

"I have coached for 40 years, 29 as a head coach and 17 of those years have been at Utah State," said Morrill in a statement. "I know it's the right time to make this decision. I am looking forward to some new freedoms and bugging my wife Vicki on a daily basis.

"Many thanks to university president Stan Albrecht, vice president and director of athletics Scott Barnes, all of my assistants through the years, all the young men who have played for me as their coach, and of course the wonderful boosters and fans who have supported our program.

"I am looking forward to the remainder of this season, but then I believe the Utah State basketball program will benefit by having a new 'voice' as its head coach."

Morrill, 62, has been the Aggies' coach since 1998 and has a 393-149 mark. He was also the head coach at Montana and Colorado State.

Morrill has made nine NCAA tournament appearances in his career.

Utah State will conduct a national search for his replacement.

"Stew Morrill is synonymous with Utah State Basketball and will go down in Aggie history as the greatest coach to ever walk up and down the sidelines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum," said Barnes. "Stew has given 100 percent in making USU basketball and so many student-athletes into the best they could be, and we're very appreciative of his 17 years of service and dedication to Utah State University.

"It is never easy when a coach and a person who has built a program to greatness retires, but I am proud to have worked with him. We will miss him and I wish him nothing but the best in the next phase of his life, whistle free."