Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan's dad passes away, enters 'where his true citizenship is at'

University of Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan took to social media Monday night to announce that his dad, Ted, had passed away.

“Tonight my Dad entered where his true citizenship is at,” Morgan said in an Instagram post. “My Dad was a great man who loved serving other people. He served the Lord with passion and he loved us deeply. If he were here today, his message would be to not wait for tragedy to strike to grow close to God.”

 

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A post shared by Tanner Morgan (@t_morgan2)

“Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want them, but he is still Good,” Morgan wrote later in the post. “He’s still for us. He draws near to the broken-hearted. It might look dark, but God is and was near the entire time.”

Morgan’s post ended with two Bible verses: James 1:2-4 and Philippians 3:20.

Ted’s death comes more than a year after he had a brain tumor removed. The surgery took place at the Mayo Clinic in May 2020.

“I think the gist of it is how I feel the Lord has blessed us to get into Mayo so quick and get the best care in the world and all the people that have reached out,” Ted told the Pioneer Press last year. “They have been so unbelievably kind and courteous to us. People that we don’t even know. People believing in faith and that things are going to be OK. There is nothing more important than that.”

The pandemic provided Tanner the opportunity to be at home with his dad as he recovered from the surgery. During a press conference in August, he was asked about what the past few months had been like for his family. His answer centered around growing closer together and to God, as well as the support he’d received from the Gophers’ coaching staff.

“As a family, obviously there was a lot of stuff going on but it was a great opportunity to testify and grow in faith with earthly trials that go on,” Tanner said. “To really just trust in God that His plan is amazing, whether it may be good or bad things that happen to you in this world, and we may have all the questions in the world for God, to Jesus and all those different things. All we know is that He’s here for us, the Holy Spirit is with us and personally seeing my dad’s growth in his faith is just amazing, because I know where he’s going to spend his eternal life — with Jesus in Heaven. That means more than anything.”

Morgan is preparing for his fifth season at Minnesota and third as the team’s full-time starter. He assumed command of the offense in 2019 and led the Golden Gophers to an 11-2 record, their winningest season since 1904. The Union, Kentucky, native set new single-season program records for passing yards (3,253), passing touchdowns (30) and completion percentage (66.0) in the process.

Expectations were high in 2020, but the Golden Gophers finished with a 3-4 record in the pandemic-shortened season. With Morgan returning for the 2021 campaign, they hope to replicate the success of 2019.

Minnesota’s season begins Sept. 2 when it welcomes Ohio State to Huntington Bank Stadium.

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