Longtime assistant Brent Morrison has been named Westerville Central High School football coach, pending school board approval.

Morrison replaces John Magistro, who announced before this season that it would be his last with the program.

“Coach Magistro has been a mentor to me,” Morrison said Dec. 2. “He really showed me how to build and maintain a program like this. When I get things rolling, we’re going to look very similar, with some tweaks here and there. Our program is in a healthy situation and there’s no need for change for the sake of change.”

The school announced Morrison’s selection in a press release Dec. 1.

Morrison, 34, has been an assistant in the program since 2005, most recently serving as offensive coordinator. Before joining the staff, he was an assistant at Dublin Jerome and Reynoldsburg.

Morrison is a social studies teacher at Central.

In Magistro’s nine-year tenure with the Warhawks, he went 61-37, was named an OCC Coach of the Year three times and shared state Coach of the Year honors in 2011 with Findlay’s Mark Ritzler.

“We’ve had this transition in mind for a couple of years,” Morrison said. “It’s something we’ve definitely been working towards. Coach Magistro, the administration and myself have all been on board with it, trying to set it up so it goes as smooth as possible.”

Magistro has indicated he might remain in coaching and hopes to make a decision in early 2018.

Cam Phillips, a junior wide receiver and defensive back, is excited about Morrison’s new role.

“I’m looking forward to this,” Phillips said. “He’s a great guy. I can’t wait to have him as our head coach. It should be a fun year.”

Phillips anticipates a smooth transition from Magistro to Morrison.

“They both have the same ideals on game plans, so it shouldn’t be that big of a change,” he said.