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New Football Coach Selected

Cincinnati's Murphy to Take Reins

By Sean D. Wissman

In a passing of the torch rarely seen more than once a generation, the Harvard football team will be turned over to University of Cincinnati coach Tim Murphy today.

Murphy will be only the team's fourth coach since 1951, following the 23-year term of outgoing coach Joe Restic.

Murphy, a 37-year-old native of Kingston, Mass., broke the news to his Cincinnati captains yesterday at a 9:30 a.m. meeting, according to two of the Bearcats' captains.

"Basically, he told us that he had accepted the job at Harvard and that he thought his work was done here," Cincinnati senior Nate Dingell said. "It's a great opportunity for him--I wish him the best."

"We had a meeting with him today and he said he was leaving [to go to Harvard]," senior Jason Coppess said last night. "He said he felt that the Harvard job would be in his best interests."

Both captains reported that Murphy will be in Cambridge today for a press conference announcing his hiring.

Harvard Sports Information Director John Veneziano confirmed that Harvard is holding a press conference this afternoon concerning the new football coach, but refused to comment on who the new coach would be.

"We're not saying anything yet--it will be announced at the conference," he said.

Murphy, a former Boston University, Brown and Lafayette assistant and two-year head coach at Maine, had coached Cincinnati for the past five seasons, leading his team to a 17-37-1 overall record. When he took over, the Bearcats were on NCAA probation and had not had a winning season since 1982. After going 1-9-1 and 1-10 in Murphy's first two seasons, though, the team improved to 4-7 in 1991 and 3-8 in 1992 before going 8-3 this season and flirting with an invitation to the Independence Bowl.

"He's a great coach and you guys are lucky to get him," Dingell said. "He accomplished pretty much everything he wanted to accomplish here."

Although rumors have been swirling of theCincinnati coach's hiring since a few days beforethe Harvard-Yale game, the decision was not madefinal until last week, The Boston Globe reportedyesterday.

In the last week, Murphy has reportedlywithdrawn his application for a head coaching jobat Duke, where he was said to be one of thefinalists, and discussed contract extensions withUniversity of Cincinnati President John Stager,according to Cincinnati Sports InformationDirector for Football John Hamel.

"I don't know if any offers were tendered, butit was definitely discussed," Hamel said.

At his team's end-of-season banquet Saturdaynight, Murphy hinted strongly that his departurewas imminent, thanking all the staff and playerswho had made his stint at Cincinnati "the bestfive years of his life."

"We all had pretty much heard that he would beleaving, and then he hinted very strongly that hewould be in his speech," Dingell said. "He didn'ttell us that explicitly, but you could tell by theway he talked."

Hamel, who talked with Murphy immediatelyfollowing his speech, was even less sure of thesituation.

"I talked with him that night and he told me,'You know, all the newspapers have me going hereor going there, but there's only one person whoknows where Tim Murphy is going and that's me, andI don't know where I'm going yet,'" Hamel said.

But, convening with his four captains yesterdaymorning, he broke the news, saying that he wouldmake the announcement in Cambridge today beforereturning to Cincinnati tomorrow to make theformal announcement at a 3:30 press conference.

"He was real nice about it, saying that he'sloved his stay at Cincinnati, but that it is justtime to move on," Dingell said.

Word spread from the captains to the rest ofthe team yesterday afternoon. Three of the fournon-captains contacted by the Crimson said theyhad heard the official news.

"The news spread pretty fast," junior defensivetackle Ernest Green said. "Most people--except forthose really worried about finals--know."

In general, the players were disappointed butunderstanding.

"I'm disappointed and I know a lot of peopleare really upset about it, but it's a greatopportunity for him," senior Ray Woodside said."I've had him for four years, and I know that he'sa tough, competitive coach who really cares abouthis players. He's pretty much all you could askfor in a head coach. You're always going to misssomeone like that."

"We certainly will miss him--he was a greatcoach--but he did what he had to do," Green said.

A big question is why Murphy "had to," or evenwould want to, go to Harvard.

According to The Globe, Murphy had a staff ofeight full-time assistants, a part-timer and twograduate assistants at Cincinnati. He had a basesalary of $111,996, a car, a $3,000 personalexpense budget, a $25,000 salary for his radio andtelevision shows, country club membership and freeuse of the college's facilities for a summer camp.

In addition, he could offer scholarships tooutstanding prep school players.

At Harvard, on the other hand, he will haveonly six full-time assistants, a part-timer and asecretary, and, while his Harvard salary isunknown, he will probably receive nowhere nearwhat he received at Cincinnati in terms of money,The Globe reported.

Most players speculated that Murphy wasmotivated by Harvard's prestige and its closeproximity to his family.

"Harvard's a great opportunity--no doubt,"sophomore tight end Michael Rafter said. "We'redisappointed to lose him, but Harvard would be atough place to turn down."

"I don't know exactly what he was thinking, butI imagine that he based his decision on Harvard'sprestige and the fact that he is from aroundthere," Dingle said. "All-around, I think it'sgoing to be a great situation for him.

Daniel P. Roeser contributed to thereporting of this article.TIM MURPHY (32-45-1)

Season  College  Record1987  Maine  8-41988  Maine  7-41989  Cincinnati  1-9-11990  Cincinnati  1-101991  Cincinnati  4-71992  Cincinnati  3-81993  Cincinnati  8-3

.BACKGROUND: Born in Kingston, Mass., anAll-American linebacker at Springfield College,graduating in 1977.

.1979-1980:Offensive line coach atBrown.

.1981:Defensive line coach at Lafayette.

.1982-1984:Offensive line coach atBoston University.

.1985-1986:Offensive coordinator atMaine.

.COACHING HIGHLIGHTS:Kodak District I(1-AA) Coach of the Year, 1987; Yankee Conferenceco-champions, 1987; NCCA Division 1-AA playoffs,1987.

Source: The Boston GlobeCrimson Staff Graphic

Although rumors have been swirling of theCincinnati coach's hiring since a few days beforethe Harvard-Yale game, the decision was not madefinal until last week, The Boston Globe reportedyesterday.

In the last week, Murphy has reportedlywithdrawn his application for a head coaching jobat Duke, where he was said to be one of thefinalists, and discussed contract extensions withUniversity of Cincinnati President John Stager,according to Cincinnati Sports InformationDirector for Football John Hamel.

"I don't know if any offers were tendered, butit was definitely discussed," Hamel said.

At his team's end-of-season banquet Saturdaynight, Murphy hinted strongly that his departurewas imminent, thanking all the staff and playerswho had made his stint at Cincinnati "the bestfive years of his life."

"We all had pretty much heard that he would beleaving, and then he hinted very strongly that hewould be in his speech," Dingell said. "He didn'ttell us that explicitly, but you could tell by theway he talked."

Hamel, who talked with Murphy immediatelyfollowing his speech, was even less sure of thesituation.

"I talked with him that night and he told me,'You know, all the newspapers have me going hereor going there, but there's only one person whoknows where Tim Murphy is going and that's me, andI don't know where I'm going yet,'" Hamel said.

But, convening with his four captains yesterdaymorning, he broke the news, saying that he wouldmake the announcement in Cambridge today beforereturning to Cincinnati tomorrow to make theformal announcement at a 3:30 press conference.

"He was real nice about it, saying that he'sloved his stay at Cincinnati, but that it is justtime to move on," Dingell said.

Word spread from the captains to the rest ofthe team yesterday afternoon. Three of the fournon-captains contacted by the Crimson said theyhad heard the official news.

"The news spread pretty fast," junior defensivetackle Ernest Green said. "Most people--except forthose really worried about finals--know."

In general, the players were disappointed butunderstanding.

"I'm disappointed and I know a lot of peopleare really upset about it, but it's a greatopportunity for him," senior Ray Woodside said."I've had him for four years, and I know that he'sa tough, competitive coach who really cares abouthis players. He's pretty much all you could askfor in a head coach. You're always going to misssomeone like that."

"We certainly will miss him--he was a greatcoach--but he did what he had to do," Green said.

A big question is why Murphy "had to," or evenwould want to, go to Harvard.

According to The Globe, Murphy had a staff ofeight full-time assistants, a part-timer and twograduate assistants at Cincinnati. He had a basesalary of $111,996, a car, a $3,000 personalexpense budget, a $25,000 salary for his radio andtelevision shows, country club membership and freeuse of the college's facilities for a summer camp.

In addition, he could offer scholarships tooutstanding prep school players.

At Harvard, on the other hand, he will haveonly six full-time assistants, a part-timer and asecretary, and, while his Harvard salary isunknown, he will probably receive nowhere nearwhat he received at Cincinnati in terms of money,The Globe reported.

Most players speculated that Murphy wasmotivated by Harvard's prestige and its closeproximity to his family.

"Harvard's a great opportunity--no doubt,"sophomore tight end Michael Rafter said. "We'redisappointed to lose him, but Harvard would be atough place to turn down."

"I don't know exactly what he was thinking, butI imagine that he based his decision on Harvard'sprestige and the fact that he is from aroundthere," Dingle said. "All-around, I think it'sgoing to be a great situation for him.

Daniel P. Roeser contributed to thereporting of this article.TIM MURPHY (32-45-1)

Season  College  Record1987  Maine  8-41988  Maine  7-41989  Cincinnati  1-9-11990  Cincinnati  1-101991  Cincinnati  4-71992  Cincinnati  3-81993  Cincinnati  8-3

.BACKGROUND: Born in Kingston, Mass., anAll-American linebacker at Springfield College,graduating in 1977.

.1979-1980:Offensive line coach atBrown.

.1981:Defensive line coach at Lafayette.

.1982-1984:Offensive line coach atBoston University.

.1985-1986:Offensive coordinator atMaine.

.COACHING HIGHLIGHTS:Kodak District I(1-AA) Coach of the Year, 1987; Yankee Conferenceco-champions, 1987; NCCA Division 1-AA playoffs,1987.

Source: The Boston GlobeCrimson Staff Graphic

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