NEW YORK - Speedy Morris realizes that people hand out lifetime achievement awards only to retired basketball coaches who are getting up there in age.
He pleads guilty on one count.
"Yes, I'm getting old, I'm 71," Morris said Saturday after being recognized with a Lifetime Coaching Excellence Award at the ECAC Holiday Festival tournament at Madison Square Garden.
But retirement? Forget about it. Morris is entering his 46th year as a head coach and his 13th season at St. Joseph's Prep, and he feels too good to stop.
"I still love it," he said. "I have great kids at the Prep. As long as I'm healthy and I'm able to do it, I'd like to go a few more years. I've been blessed. I've had a great time coaching at great schools."
Morris, who said a busload of friends came for the presentation, was honored as a representative of La Salle, which defeated Stony Brook, 65-57. He is the Explorers' all-time leader with 238 wins in 15 seasons from 1986 through 2001.
Morris is most proud of La Salle's connection with the Garden through Tom Gola, who led the Explorers to the 1952 NIT championship and was later voted one of the top five players ever to play there.
"There's a lot of history here, and La Salle has a lot of history here with Tom Gola," he said.