Philadelphia area basketball legend Speedy Morris has won over 1,000 games as a coach at the collegiate and high school levels, been inducted into 11 Halls of Fame, and is the winningest coach in Philadelphia Catholic League history.
Next month, Morris will add another accolade to his long list of accomplishments when he receives The University of Scranton's Peter A. Carlesimo award at the Carlesimo Golf Tournament and Award Dinner, to be held on June 24 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The Quandel Construction Group is the title sponsor for the event, which serves as a fundraising event to support and enhance the student-athlete experience at Scranton.
Since 2011, the Peter A. Carlesimo Award, named for the late University of Scranton head coach and director of athletics, has been presented to someone who has made special contributions to athletics and Catholic education.
Morris is the personification of what the Carlesimo Award stands for, as he has been involved in Catholic athletics for more than 50 years, coaching basketball at both the high school and collegiate levels.
Morris began his career before even graduating high school when he was asked to lead the CYO team at St. John the Baptist Church in Manayunk, Pa. during his senior year in 1960.
Seven years later, he took over the varsity team at Roman Catholic High School, where won a staggering 347 games in 14 seasons. After moving on to Penn Charter in 1982 and capturing 41 more games, Morris was asked to coach the women's program at La Salle University in 1984.
After coaching the Explorers women's team for two seasons and posting a 43-17 record, Morris took over the men's program in 1986 and became the first Division I level coach to lead both a men's and women's program at the same school.
As the men's coach, Morris led La Salle to 238 victories, four NCAA Tournament appearances, four NIT bids, and four conference championships in 15 seasons. His best campaign came in the 1989-90 season, as Morris led the Explorers to a 30-2 record, and a 12th place finish nationally in both major polls on a team that featured star players Lionel Simmons and Doug Overton.
In 2001, Morris left his position at La Salle as the winningest coach in program history and returned to the high school level, where he has coached the boy's team at St. Joseph's Prep for the last 18 seasons, winning over 300 games at the school.
The 2017 recipient of the Morgan Wootten Award for lifetime achievement in coaching high school basketball awarded by The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Morris is the only coach in Pennsylvania state high school basketball history to win over 300 or more games at two different schools. He is also a member of the Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame, where he was inducted in 2010.
The event is open to the public. For additional information or to register, please visit scranton.edu/carlesimoaward or call 570-941-7719