By John Knebels

Special to The CS&T

Jim Murray was trying to find the right words, but none seemed to exist when talking about the tragic death of 2001 St. Joseph’s Prep graduate Matt Mullin.

On April 25, Mullin died after a freak boating accident where he lived and worked as a financial broker in Hong Kong. He was 26.

Although he admitted that he did not know Mullin well, Murray, the long-time athletic director at the Prep, said he could not help but think about Mullin’s parents Michael and Sheila, brother Mark, and grandmother Kathleen Mullin.

“There are no adequate words,” Murray said.

Bill Lamb agreed. Lamb was the crew coach at the Prep from 1991 to 2001 and then again from 2003 to 2008. He coached Mullin throughout his high school career and labeled him “unbelievably successful in everything he did.”

At his funeral Mass May 8 at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Media, Mullin, who attended St. Joseph’s University on a rowing scholarship and graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance, was described as special, fun-loving, hard-working and loyal.

“When you consider the things that were said about Matt, it shows how much he accomplished during his time here,” said Lamb, a 1979 Prep graduate.

“He got the most out of everything he worked toward and prepared for. When you think about how much he accomplished – as a worker, as an athlete, in his relationships with his friends and in his relationship with his family – he did such a great job of living his life to the fullest.

“We always talked about investing ourselves in order to achieve tangible results, that hard work and effort is always rewarded in the end. Matt bought into that and never looked back in every facet of his life,” Lamb said.

Another former coach echoed Lamb’s sentiments at the loss.

“It was a privilege having had the opportunity to coach Matty,” said Drew Hill, the St. Joseph’s University rowing coach for whom Mullin rowed as a collegian. “He was one of those unique inspaniduals who everybody he met loved.”

At the 71st-annual Dad Vail Regatta on May 9 along the banks of the Schuylkill River, St. Joe’s University named their new varsity eight shell after Mullin in a moving ceremony.

“The Prep program is significantly better for what Matt contributed to it,” said Lamb. “He was one of the best.”

John Knebels can be reached at