Additional Questions for Harvard Football Coach Tim Murphy

Published by Kate Leist on November 22, 2010 at 3:11AM
Murphy's Law

In 17 years with Harvard, each of Tim Murphy’s four-year players has won an Ivy League title.

A few weeks ago, The Back Page sat down with Harvard coach Tim Murphy to talk about his enormous success in his 17 years at the helm of the Crimson football program. Murphy has won five Ivy titles and 111 games with Harvard, and his team just wrapped up its 10th consecutive seven-win season, extending its own Ancient Eight record.

You can read the full feature in our Harvard-Yale supplement, but we couldn’t fit all of Murphy’s wisdom into one story. Here are further excerpts from our interview with the coach:

The Back Page: Harvard had its last losing season in 1998. What goes into sustaining that success?

Murphy: I think constant reeducation and never taking anything for granted. I heard one great investment icon say that we’re only as good as our next year. I wake up every day like there’s a bear in the bushes, ready to take my money, and I think there’s a lot of that. I think the reeducation part is important. We may have had the same basic system at Maine, at Cincinnati, and at Harvard, but we’re constantly tinkering with it to make it better. And I think the last part of it is, even though you may have a system, your personnel does change, so taking advantage of your personnel and tailoring your systems to the personnel you have [is key].

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Sound Off: Murphy Having Fun After The Game

Published by Max N. Brondfield on November 22, 2010 at 3:11AM

In the modern era of sports, being a college coach carries with it the burden of constant media attention. Facing dozens of reporters at press conferences, head coaches have gotten savvier—they say what they need to and leave the rest up for speculation. Here at The Back Page, we’re happy to decode some of these media sessions, showing the average fan what we think coaches’ answers “really” mean.

Harvard coach Tim Murphy had a little fun with the postgame press conference after his Crimson squad topped Yale for the fourth straight year on Saturday. Following the 28-21 victory, the normally sparse interview table was filled from end to end with a host of Harvard seniors. Still, when the questions started flying, the coach got down to business, and we have the breakdown of some of his thoughts on fighting past Yale, momentum swings, and what he looks for in a recruit.

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Dickson, McGillivray To Lead Field Hockey in 2011

Published by James Yu on November 22, 2010 at 3:11AM
Dickson Bros

Junior co-captain Carly Dickson will captain the Harvard field hockey team again in 2011. She will be joined by classmate Georgia McGillivray.

The Harvard field hockey team announced its team captains for the 2011 season today. 2010 junior co-captain Carly Dickson got the nod to continue her leadership, and junior Georgia McGillivray will serve as Dickson’s companion during her senior season. Both women have been starters for their entire collegiate careers, and both hail from Victoria, B.C.

Dickson has already proven herself as a leader during the 2010 season, and her impressive record during her three years speaks volume to her dedication to the team. Having started 50 out of 51 games in the past three seasons, Dickson works her magic in the midfield, leading the team this season in assists and garnering numerous awards for her play, including second-team All-Ivy honors this season.

McGillivray is no less impressive in her track record. In addition to earning an All-Ivy honorable mention this fall, the back recorded three goals and led the Crimson defense to a formidable 2.00 goals allowed per game. She has started every game for Harvard since arriving in Cambridge in 2008.

Heading into next season, Dickson and McGillivray will lead a tough defensive team that has struggled at times to put points on the board. While the future looks optimistic for the Crimson field hockey team under the leadership of this pair of Canadians, there is still a lot of work to do in the offseason to make a run at the Ivy title in 2011.

Football's Zavala Adds Rhodes Scholarship to Memorable Day

Published by Kate Leist on November 21, 2010 at 3:11AM

Zar Zavala won two things on Saturday: a football game against Yale and the one of the world’s most prestigious scholarships.

Zavala, a walk-on senior wide receiver, found out just after yesterday’s game that he received the Rhodes Scholarship.

“Today is definitely the best day of my life,” Zavala said.

The native of El Paso, Texas, flew home Friday to participate in the final round of interviews for the scholarship. He arrived at Harvard Stadium just before halftime and suited up to watch the Crimson come from behind to beat Yale, 28-21.

“[I was] walking around the field, searching for my family,” Zavala said. “I find them, they have my phone. I turn it on and it says, ‘Congratulations, you’re a Rhodes scholar.’”

Zavala is an engineering sciences and neurobiology concentrator in Kirkland House. He was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa earlier this month.

“I can’t think of a better day,” he said.

Men's Basketball Downs Mercer, 75-69

Published by Martin Kessler on November 20, 2010 at 3:11AM

The Harvard men’s basketball migrated south for the weekend, traveling to Macon, Ga. to take on Mercer this afternoon at the University Center.

The Crimson (2-1) picked up its second win of the young season, defeating the Bears (1-2), 75-69.

Harvard sophomore Christian Webster turned in a career performance in leading the Crimson to victory, notching 29 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc.

But Webster wasn’t the only Harvard player lighting it up from deep. The Crimson shot a combined 42 percent from three-point land—its highest mark on the season—with sophomore Brandyn Curry and freshman Laurent Rivard chipping in with three three-pointers apiece.

Mercer, meanwhile, struggled from deep, shooting just 3-of-19 (19 percent).

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