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Football: Medical care for twins a big reason LaMar Morgan leaving Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for SEC

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Feb. 12, 2021

Click here for LaMar Morgan’s Family Photo Gallery.

Joining the staff of new Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea is one reason LaMar Morgan has chosen to leave UL, where he coached cornerbacks the past two seasons and played safety in the mid-2000s.

Coaching corners at the SEC program where he worked as a graduate assistant from 2012-13 is another.

But there’s a larger enticement Morgan couldn’t ignore.

During the same Thanksgiving 2019 week the Ragin’ Cajuns were preparing to play rival ULM, his is mother-in-law died in Abilene, Texas. Three days later, his wife Jazen was rushed into an emergency C-section there. She delivered twins Krue and Kalais 24 weeks and two days into her pregnancy, just past the viability threshold for survival.

Both made it beyond days there were doubts they would, and they’re also a huge part of why he’s leaving Lafayette for Nashville.

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“The No. 1 reason, one of them, is … the opportunity just for the medical situation there,” Morgan said Wednesday.

“With the twins being born early … they still have to be able to do some things that have to get monitored for the next year.

“Nashville, and the medical system that they have there, I think is top-notch,” added Morgan, who along with Jazen also has a young daughter. “It should be a really good opportunity for them in our life.”

Leaving Cajuns not easy

Still, leaving Billy Napier’s staff was no easy call.

The Cajuns went 10-1 in 2020, finishing the season nationally ranked. Morgan coached cornerbacks in a secondary ranked second nationally last season in opposing quarterback rating. One of his corners from 2019, Michael Jacquet III, played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020.

“It’s really hard, because Coach Napier has been really, really good to me and my family. I mean over and beyond,” said Morgan, who missed lots of time commuting between Louisiana and Texas while both micro preemies were hospitalized more than 100 days in Fort Worth.

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“A lot of people say ‘family first,’ but they really don’t mean it. That guy, when he says, ‘Your family’s No. 1,’ that’s exactly what he means.’

“So it was hard to leave, hard to (tell) your players,” Morgan added. “You know, we’ve got a special team coming back.”

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Complicating matters was the fact Morgan played 40 career games for the Cajuns, finishing in 2007.

“A lot of coaches don’t get an opportunity to go back and coach where they played,” he said.

“It’s really unique when a guy come back … and has been in these kids’ shoes before, so you know exactly how they’re feeling, the culture of the program, different things like that.”

Morgan couldn’t pass on Vandy job 

The Vandy opportunity, however, was one Morgan felt he couldn’t pass up.

“My college start was Nashville. I actually proposed to my wife in a Nashville,” said Morgan, who also coach safeties at Houston in 2018, and defensive backs at UL Monroe and Western Carolina prior to that. “She used to always come visit, when I was a GA and she was a nurse in Fort Worth.

“So I’m familiar with the program, and I’m excited about the different things going on there. … It’s a very unique place, and I think the city of Nashville presented to me and my wife, our full family, (a chance to) help our little ones.

“They’re doing better,” he added, “but there’s a lot of different things that have to get monitored and just a lot of tests and appointments. … I just think all those things are going to be good for my family.”

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