In 2011, Morgan Hale was a junior guard playing on the only Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate Basketball team to ever qualify for the University Interscholastic League Girls Basketball State Tournament. The team lost in the state semifinals to the eventual state champion, Abilene Wylie, and finished the season with an overall record of 35-4.
Nine years later, Hale will return to her former team, this time as RFHS Head Girls Basketball Coach.
Hale always admired the idea of coming back home in this capacity, but never imagined the opportunity would present itself.
“It was so important to me to come back home because it offered me the opportunity to give back and invest in a community that gave so much and invested in me,” said Hale “I’ll never forget my teachers, coaches, and the community members who helped mold me into the person I am today, which is what I hope to do for the students and athletes at RFHS.”
She will head a program that has seen some turnover in the last two seasons without a trip to the postseason. After long time head coach Chris Bentley’s departure following the 2018-19 season, Mark Malone was hired but terminated by the ACISD following the 2019-20 season.
Hale comes to RFHS following a two year stint at Corpus Christi - Miller High School. It was her first opportunity as a high school head girls basketball coach.
“My students and athletes at Miller captivated my heart and I love that community more than I could ever put into words. I will always be thankful for my time there,” said Hale. “Having said that, I knew returning home was something I couldn’t pass up. I am beyond blessed to even be considered for this position and to say I am excited, would be an understatement.”
Hale said it’s a surreal feeling to come back home to a team she played for less than 10 years ago, and now be given the opportunity to be head coach of that team.
“I remember my parents praying over my high school career as a basketball player and student and it is so cool to look back and realize that those prayers weren’t just for me in high school, but were also meant for my career nine years later,” said Hale.
She will begin her third year ever as a high school head girls basketball coach at RFHS. She has already set high expectations of herself and is committed to the goal of getting RFHS back into the playoffs.
“I believe we have the pieces to make a deep playoff run, but we have to work harder than our opponents every single day, including the off-season. I will never ask my athletes to do anything that I’m not willing to hold myself accountable in. The hard work starts now and it starts with myself,” said Hale. “I expect the Rockport-Fulton girls basketball program to be the best version of itself daily, which I truly believe can, and will, equal greatness in the future.”