From 1986 to 1989 Morrison was the athletic director for the University of California, Santa Barbara's 21-sport program, helped raise significant funds annually for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, and served on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament Committee. He was the athletic director at the University of California, Riverside for 12 years until his retirement on August 15, 2011.
Born in Lynwood, California, Morrison graduated from Bellflower High School. He then attended the University of California, Berkeley and played on the California Golden Bears varsity basketball team from 1959 to 1961 as a center. Morrison averaged 10.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as a senior. graduated from UC Berkeley in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in physical education.
In the 1961–62 season, Morrison played professionally for Real Madrid Baloncesto, a team in the Spanish league. Real Madrid made the 1962 FIBA European Champions Cup Final.
In 1962, Morrison returned to UC Berkeley to be a graduate assistant on Rene Herrerias's staff. The following year, Morrison became varsity coach at El Camino High School in Sacramento, California. While coaching at El Camino, Morrison pursued a master's degree in physical education at Sacramento State College. Morrison received his master's in 1966, with the thesis The advantages and disadvantages in raising the height of the goal in basketball from ten feet to twelve feet.
After getting his master's degree, Morrison became an assistant coach at San Jose State under Dan Glines. Morrison recruited Darnell Hillman to San Jose State in 1967; Hillman would eventually play in the NBA. Morrison then moved to USC as an assistant coach under Bob Boyd. USC finished the 1970–71 season 24–2 and ranked #5 by the AP.
Morrison got his first collegiate head coaching position at the University of the Pacific in 1972; he would lead the Pacific Tigers men's basketball team for seven seasons. Morrison had a 100–88 record with Pacific, who finished Morrison's final season as head coach in 1978–79 first place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Association standings and made the 1979 NCAA Tournament.
Morrison then became head coach at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1979. He was head coach for seven seasons, until he was fired under a new Athletic Director in 1986. Morrison had been named the Pacific-10 Coach of the Year after the 1985 season. USC under Morrison made the 1982 and 1985 NCAA tournaments.
Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble were recruited to USC by Morrison and his top assistant, David Spencer. They were joined by high school All-American, Tom Lewis, and Rich Grande as the "Four Freshmen" star recruiting class. Following an 11-17 season coaching USC, Morrison and Spencer were fired after the 1985-86 season was over, despite winning the Pac-10 the previous year. It was reported that the players would not remain unless certain conditions were met, including having a say in the next coaching staff. USC hired George Raveling in March 1986 as the next head coach of the Trojans. Raveling gave the players a deadline to respond whether they would remain on the team. When they did not respond, he revoked the scholarships of Gathers, Kimble, and Lewis. Raveling's controversial statement was, "You can't let the Indians run the reservation," he said. "You've got to be strong, too. Sometimes you have to tell them that they have to exit." Kimble and Gathers transferred together from USC to Loyola Marymount. Lewis transferred to Pepperdine. Grande remained at USC.
Morrison accepted the position of Director of Athletics at UC Santa Barbara in 1986, which involved overseeing a 21-sport program and serving as a member of the NCAA Women's Basketball Committee.
Morrison returned to San Jose State to be head coach in 1989. Morrison inherited a team that went 5–21 under coach Bill Berry and had 10 players quit the team over accusations of verbal and physical abuse against Berry. In Morrison's first season, San Jose State went 8–20 in 1989–90 then finished the 1990–91 season 7–20. Following the 1990–91 season, Morrison dismissed four players from the team after they were arrested for stealing a student assistant's credit card.
After 2–24 and 7–19 seasons, San Jose State finished the 1993–94 season 15–12 for the Spartans' first winning season since 1986–87. Led by Olivier Saint-Jean, San Jose State then made the 1996 NCAA Tournament after winning the Big West Conference Men's Basketball Tournament. Saint-Jean later changed his name to Tariq Abdul-Wahad and was selected in the first round of the 1997 NBA draft. San Jose State moved from the Big West Conference to Western Athletic Conference for the 1996–97 season. Following a 3–23 season in 1997–98, Morrison resigned.
In August 1999, Morrison became athletic director at the University of California, Riverside. At UC Riverside, Morrison led the university's upgrade from NCAA Division II to Division I. Morrison retired from the position on August 15, 2011.
Morrison was the recipient of the 2016-17 Pete Newell Career Achievement Award at the University of California. The award is recognition for career achievement and is presented to a Cal men's basketball alumnus who has distinguished himself in his accomplishments while upholding the highest ideals of Coach Pete Newell and the University of California.