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Brothers Honored through Morgan Gym
Two longtime teachers and coaches at Churchill Junior High School now have their names etched in the school's history.

The Galesburg School Board Monday night approved with a 5-2 vote changing the name of the Churchill's gymnasium to Morgan Gym in recognition of Bill and Bob Morgan. Both men spent their entire careers at Churchill, a span of more than three decades.

The process began with a recommendation in May by Jeff Holt, a local sports writer who also played for the Morgans as a student at Churchill. The request was accompanied by several letters of recommendation to rename the facility. A committee comprised of Holt, Pete Thierry, Bart Arthur, District 205 Superintendent Dr. Gene Denisar and Galesburg School Board member Dr. Barry Swanson reviewed the request and recommended the name change to the school board.

Swanson, who coached for many years in District 205, told the board Bill and Bob Morgan had a positive influence on many students both in the classroom and through athletics.

"Those guys were very influential in a number of lives, a number of people, and I would say that I'm one of those people," Swanson said. "I think (renaming the gym) wasn't just because they were coaches, but also because of the positive influence they had as educators as a whole."

Swanson's comments about the Morgans being both teachers and coaches were in response to one of the two board members who voted against renaming the gym - Dr. Carl Strauch.

Strauch said he had nothing against the Morgans, but everything that's been named in the school district is for coaches in athletics except an auditorium. He said the school board is the board of education, not the board of athletics and recommended a plaque be placed in the gym for the Morgans instead.

The other 'no' vote was cast by Mike Panther. Panther said he agreed with Strauch's stance and had no comment one way or the other about the Morgans. Panther's problem, he said, is with the concept of renaming facilities. He supported, instead of changing the gym's name, a scholarship for students.

Both Morgans are members of the Galesburg High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Bob Morgan was inducted in 2000 and Bill Morgan in 2004.
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