By Robert Carnes
Despite retiring as the University of Georgia's head athletic trainer 15 years ago, Warren Morris continues to make contributions to the field of sports medicine.
Morris, 77, spent the majority of his professional life finding solutions to problems. The most recent problem he addressed was keeping ice on an injured foot or ankle without limiting mobility.
The solution is the Morris Boot.
"The Boot is unique," said Morris. "There is nothing else like it."
Simply enough, the Boot is a giant bag that contains two separate compartments to store ice. This design allows injured athletes to move about without spilling any of the contents.
"My wife originally came up with the idea," said Morris. "She witnessed the mess that ice bags make and wanted to fix that."
Leaking ice and limited mobility caused by traditional methods discouraged athletes from keeping ice on injuries. Healing cannot begin until swelling subsides, meaning that a lack of ice can prolong the recovery from a sporting injury.
Debbie Morris was a trainer at Northwestern University and the head women's athletic trainer at the University of South Carolina.
To sell the product, Warren and Debbie founded Morris Technologies in their hometown of Bozeman, Mt.
Something that started as a good idea has quickly become an effective tool of the trade.
"This product works effectively at all levels of athletics," said Morris. "There are so many uses for the Boot and we haven't even found them all yet."
For nearly 30 years, Morris served as medicine man for Bulldog student-athletes. In 1965, then athletic director Joel Eaves hired Morris to replace former head trainer Dick Copas who was turning his attention to the position of head golf coach.
During his time at the University of Georgia, Morris became known as one of the foremost athletic trainers in the country. He was awarded the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Distinguished Trainer Award in 1986 and was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 1981.
He retired from his position at the University in 1995.
"The advantage I gained while working at Georgia was the people I met in all different sports," said Morris. "These were the same people I talked to when developing the Boot."
To finalize the product, Morris traveled the country, testing prototypes with a number of athletic trainers, continually making improvements and adjustments.
"The product has been very well received by sports medicine clinics and meetings," said Morris. "We've received a lot of positive feedback."
Prior to his arrival in Athens, Morris worked as an assistant trainer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for eight years. The Boone, Iowa, native graduated from the University of Northern Iowa where he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track.
After all these years, Morris shows no signs of slowing.
"Morris Industries is working as we speak," said Morris. "We have a couple more ideas to address different issues in sports injuries."