Former Haverford College coach Murphy brings special affection of Nick Colleluori Classic to Penn

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 10/9/09

It was not difficult for first-year Penn lacrosse coach Mike Murphy to explain the significance of the Third Annual Nick Colleluori Classic to his new players this week.

Murphy’s Quakers will be one of 10 Division I teams to play Saturday in the first day of the men’s Fall Ball Classic at Ridley High. The two-day tourney, run by the HEADstrong Foundation, benefits blood cancer research in the name of the late Nick Colleluori.

Nick Colleluori, a Ridley grad, lost his fight against Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma three years ago as a student-athlete at Hofstra University. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the event, which also features seven Division II and III teams in action Sunday.

Murphy, then the coach at Haverford College, had the honor getting to know Nick Colleluori during his lengthy battle against the disease. At that time, Murphy’s standout goalie, K.C. Peterson, also was fighting blood cancer (b-cell lymphoma). Peterson struck a friendship with Colleluori as they found support in each other’s fight to survive.

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