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Carlesimo Golf Tournament & Award Dinner Honors Speedy Morris

Carlesimo Golf Tournament & Award Dinner Honors Speedy Morris
From left, University director of Athletics Dave Martin presents Philadelphia-area basketball legend William “Speedy” Morris with the 2019 Peter A. Carlesimo Award while P.J. Carlesimo, son of Peter A. Carlesimo, looks on at the Carlesimo Golf Tournament & Award Dinner.

The University honored Philadelphia-area basketball legend Speedy Morris with the 2019 Peter A. Carlesimo Award at its annual Carlesimo Golf Tournament & Award Dinner at the Philadelphia Cricket Club on June 24.

More than 200 guests attended the festivities, which raised more than $100,000 for Scranton Athletics. Quandel Construction Group served as the event’s title sponsor.

During his 50-plus years in Catholic athletics, Morris, the winningest coach in Philadelphia Catholic League history, won over 1,000 games as a coach at the collegiate and high school levels.

Morris began his career in 1960 by leading the CYO team at St. John the Baptist Church in Manayunk. Seven years later, he took over the boys’ varsity team at Roman Catholic High School, where he won a staggering 347 games in 14 seasons. After moving on to Penn Charter in 1982 and winning 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 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 when Morris led the Explorers to a 30-2 record and a 12th-place finish nationally in both major polls with a team that featured star players Lionel Simmons and Doug Overton.

In 2001, Morris returned to the high school level, where he has coached the boys’ team at St. Joseph’s Prep to more than 300 victories over the past 18 seasons. He was inducted into the Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame in 2010 and received the Morgan Wootten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball from the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

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. The Golf Tournament & Award Dinner serves as a fundraising event that supports and enhances the student-athlete experience at Scranton.

For more information on supporting student-athletes, visit scranton.edu/athleticsfund.

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