St. Joseph’s Prep Basketball Coach Speedy Morris Nominated For Naismith Basketball Hall Of Fame
PHILADELPHIA – Today, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member John Chaney announced the nomination of legendary basketball coach, Roxborough native Bill “Speedy” Morris to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In his 44 years of coaching at the high school and college level, Morris has had nothing but success. At all five of his coaching stops, he has guided his team to a championship in his second year, often after taking over moribund programs. At Roman, where he began his career and spent 14 seasons as head coach, Morris won six championships and still holds the best winning percentage in school history. He then moved to Penn Charter where he led the team to 41 wins in two seasons, winning the league championship in his second season.
That began Morris’ 17 years coaching at the collegiate level. First, he took over the La Salle women’s basketball team. Like Roman and Penn Charter, he was immediately successful, winning 43 games and a conference championship in his second season, when the Explorers advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He then moved to take the head men’s position at La Salle, becoming the only coach in NCAA history to ever make the switch from women to men. With the men’s team, Morris continued his amazing success. He still has the most wins in school history and led the Explorers to four conference titles and six postseason appearances (four NCAA tournaments and two NIT tournaments).
In 2001, Morris returned to his roots in Philadelphia Catholic League basketball, taking over the reins of the Prep. In 2003, he won the first of back-to-back Catholic League titles, the school’s first in three decades. His 235 wins are the most in school history and the team won the school’s first PIAA district championship in 2012. Overall, his eight Catholic League titles rank him at the top of the record books and last year he became the all-time winningest high school coach in Philadelphia history. He is also in exclusive company with 904 career wins.
“Speedy’s success on the floor is obvious and legendary,” says Rev. George W. Bur, S.J., President of St. Joseph’s Prep. “On the court, he has made our program into a consistent winner, something that we had been unable to achieve over the first 80 years that we had basketball. Off the court, Speedy runs a solid program, one that we are very proud to be associated with. He has made the program into a family and incorporated the mission of our school into the mission of our team.”
Morris is a tireless supporter of Coaches vs. Cancer and has consistently been one of the group’s top area fundraisers. In addition, Speedy raises money for many area charities, mostly speaking without a stipend. He and his son Chris have performed more than two dozen comedy shows, with all proceeds benefitting a local charity.
Morris has received many honors over the past few years: Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame, Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, La Salle University Athletics Hall of Fame, the Archdiocesan Hall of Fame the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the court was named in his honor at Roman Catholic. He is one of the most accomplished and honored coaches in one of the world’s greatest basketball cities.
Speedy Morris’ Accomplishments include:
- Reached 900th career win on February 3, 2012
- Career record 904-388 in 44 years as a head coach
- 1st Coach in NCAA history to go from coaching women to men
- Became only the 3rd coach in NCAA history to win 100 games in his first four years as head coach of LaSalle’s men (Everett Cash, NC State; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse)
- 26 seasons of 20+ wins, including 6 30+ win seasons
- Averaged 20.5 wins per season over 44 years
- Has won the league championship in his 2nd year as head coach with ALL 5 programs that he’s coached
- All time winning % leader at Roman Catholic and LaSalle University Women and St. Joseph’s Prep
- All time wins leader at LaSalle University (Men) and St. Joseph’s Prep
- Winningest coach in the 93 year history of the Philadelphia Catholic League
- Winningest coach in Philadelphia school boy history (623 wins – 169 losses)
- Led LaSalle men to 4 NCAA tournaments, and 2 NIT’s
- Has won 59 championships:
25 in-season tournament titles
17 regular season championships
14 post season titles
3 Big Five championships
- Speedy is in 10 Hall of Fames, including the Philadelphia Big 5, LaSalle University, Pennsylvania Sports, Philadelphia Sports and Archdiocesan Halls of Fame.
St. Joseph’s Prep
235-73 (12th year)
4 division titles
Winningest coach in SJP history
347-82 (14 yrs)
8 division titles
Best winning % of any RC coach
41-14 (2 yrs)
1 Inter-Ac Championship
La Salle Women
43-17 (2 yrs)
1 MAAC Championship
1 NCAA Appearance
Best winning % of any La Salle women’s coach
La Salle Men
238-202 (15 yrs)
4 MAAC Championships
2 NIT appearances
4 NCAA appearances
Winningest coach in La Salle history
St. Joseph’s Preparatory School is a Catholic, urban, college preparatory school for boys in Philadelphia. In the tradition of the Jesuit priests who founded the school, The Prep’s mission is to develop the minds, hearts, souls and characters of young men in their pursuit of becoming Men for and with Others.