The Winning Tradition Continues! Pat Murphy Remains As Head Coach At Arizona State
June 5, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State University head baseball coach Pat Murphy cited family, a commitment to the program he inherited seven years ago, and a burning desire to keep the Sun Devil baseball tradition among the elite in college baseball as the foundation for his reasons to turn down a job offer from the University of Hawai'i and remain the head coach at ASU.
Amidst rabid talk and speculation over the last few months, Murphy put off any decisions until the end of the 2001 season, where Monday night he put all speculation to rest when he politely turned down the job that was offered to him by the University of Hawai'i in early February.
'I am honored that the offer was made to me and I have the utmost respect for the college baseball program and the tradition that Les Murakami built over there in Hawai'i,' said Murphy. 'But I am a Sun Devil and I take a lot of pride in what this program has accomplished over the last seven years and what it will accomplish in the future.'
Taking over the program in 1995, Murphy has been a marker for success during his seven years in Tempe. Amassing an impressive 269-143-1 (.653) career record at ASU after taking over a program with only two returning starters, Murphy has continuously assembled one of the most respected programs in the nation. Taking the Sun Devils to postseason play in four of the past five years, having his players graduate with academic distinction and making an evolving impact on the community are just a few of Murphy's trademarks.
'Pat Murphy is what is right about college athletics by developing young ballplayers into outstanding young men,' said Arizona State Athletic Director Gene Smith. 'He is a great coach, on and off the field, with the success he has shown over the years, especially taking into account the parity that has surfaced in college baseball. His players are some of our best community members and we are honored and excited to retain his outstanding leadership skills.'
The 1998 Baseball America National Coach of the Year and 2000 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Murphy has averaged 42 wins per year in his 14 seasons as a Division I head coach. Taking Notre Dame from a virtual unknown in 1988, Murphy led the Irish to four appearances in the NCAA Tournament, building the Irish into a national power without the benefit of being fully funded. Murphy took over the Arizona State program in 1995 and has since carried on the tradition that was bestowed to him by ASU coach legends Bobby Winkles and Jim Brock.
Leading the Devils to the National Championship game in 1998, Murphy became the fastest Pac-10 coach to take a team to a national championship game after taking over a program. Winning an average of 38 games per season while at the helm of the Sun Devils, Murphy's teams have constantly been ranked in the national polls and is the leader of one of only six college baseball programs to be ranked in the top 12 in the national polls in three of the past four years (1997-2000).
Offensively, Murphy's squads led the nation in scoring in 1999 and 2000 and have been strong contenders each year for the NCAA batting crown. Hitting .327 as a team in 2001, Murphy's Devils led the Pac-10 in batting and finished tied for third place with a 14-10 league mark. Advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in his ASU career, the Sun Devils fell short of a 19th appearance in Omaha by being eliminated in the Cal State Fullerton Regional. ASU finished the year 37-20-1.
In addition to numerous other accolades, Murphy's squads have dominated the annual Pac-10 awards, taking home three straight Pac-10 Player of the Year honors. Academics and community service have also been a trademark of Murphy's programs. Five players have earned Academic All-American status under Murphy in the last three years, including Casey Myers earning back-to-back Academic All-American of the Year honors.
The Pat Murphy File
Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations