PHILADELPHIA – Roxborough resident Bill “Speedy” Morris, head basketball coach at St. Joseph’s Prep, has been selected for induction into the Philadelphia Big Five hall of fame. Morris, who coached at LaSalle University for 17 years, will be part of the hall’s 2010 class.
Morris had a very successful tenure at LaSalle, beginning in 1984 when he was hired as the first full-time coach of the women’s basketball team. He made an immediate difference, leading the Explorers to a 22-8 record that doubled the team’s win total from the prior year. The next year, the Explorers won the MAAC Conference title and made the NCAA tournament for the first time.
Morris took the reins of the men’s team in 1986, the first time that any coach had gone from coaching women to men. In his first year, the Explorers made the NIT Finals, the first of six postseason berths for LaSalle, including three straight NCAA tournaments from 1988-90. The six postseason berths are tied for most in school history.
Morris holds several other marks at LaSalle. His 239 wins are the most in school history and his .710 winning percentage is the most for any women’s coach. The team made the NCAA tournament four times, the most in school history, and won eight in-season tournament championships.
Overall, Morris is 853-365 (including high school and college). He has the most wins for a coach in St. Joseph’s Prep’s history, with an 183-50 record and two Catholic League titles.
At Roman Catholic High School his record was 347-82 with six Catholic League titles.
He also led Penn Charter to 41 wins and 14 losses in two seasons, and a league title.
Morris has been the head coach at St. Joe’s Prep since 2001.