Newly hired Grand Valley State OC resigns amidst controversy for calling Hitler 'a great leader'
A recently-hired offensive coordinator at Grand Valley State has resigned after making controversial comments to the school’s newspaper after landing the job.
Morris Berger, who was entering his first year as the offensive coordinator at Grand Valley State, was suspended after saying he’d like to have dinner with Adolf Hitler, calling the Nazi leader “a great leader,” and saying his skills were “second to none.”
This week, Berger issued a statement regarding his resignation. He had previously been suspended by the school while it investigated the situation.
“Over the last 11 years I have taken great pride in the responsibility and privilege of being a teacher, coach, mentor, and a valued member of the community,” Berger said in a statement on Twitter. “I was excited and proud to be at Grand Valley, and am disappointed that I will not get the opportunity to help these players in 2020. However, I do not want to be a distraction to these kids, this great university, or Coach (Matt) Mitchell as they begin preparations for the upcoming season.”
Berger, who graduated with a degree in history from Drury University, was asked by a student reporter of the Grand Valley Landthorn who he’d like to have dinner with, if he could choose anyone from history — with the caveat that no football figures were permitted. That’s when Berger gave a detailed response about why he’d choose Hitler.
Below is the transcript of the interview:
KV: So you graduated from Drury with a degree in History, you’re a history guy. If you could have dinner with three historical figures, living or dead, who would they be? And I’m ruling out football figures.
MB: This is probably not going to get a good review, but I’m going to say Adolf Hitler. It was obviously very sad and he had bad motives, but the way he was able to lead was second-to-none. How he rallied a group and a following, I want to know how he did that. Bad intentions of course, but you can’t deny he wasn’t a great leader.
KV: The way he was able to get people to rally around him was crazy.
MB: Yeah, that’s definitely one. You have to go JFK, his experience with the country and being that he was a good president and everything. And this might sound crazy, but Christopher Columbus, the ability to go on the journey he was on and his emotion into the unknown. Think about putting yourself in the setting of that unknown, and then to take it all in as you arrive is crazy.
Berger’s response and subsequent resignation came less than a week after being named the football team’s new offensive coordinator.
Grand Valley State is a Division II program in Allendale, Michigan.