The winningest football coach in Harvard history has another accolade to add to his growing resume. Having surpassed his Crimson predecessors in the record books, Harvard football coach Tim Murphy now sets out to lead his peers as the 2012 president of the American Football Coaches Association.
After serving as first vice-president last year, Murphy was elected to replace Rob Ash of Montana State University at the 2012 convention in San Antonio last week. Traditionally, the association’s first vice-president assumes the role of president the following year.
“I am honored and humbled to be named president of the American Football Coaches Association,” Murphy wrote in an email. “I will do my best to provide leadership in the best interests of college football.”
As president, Murphy will lead the Board of Trustees and formulate the issues that he believes the AFCA should address. He will be aided by first-vice president Tommy Tuberville of Texas Tech University, second vice-president Mike Welch of Ithaca College, and third vice-president Mack Brown of the University of Texas.
“It’s the greatest honor for a coach to become the president of the AFCA,” said Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens in an interview last November. “The guys on the committee are leaders and respected leaders who care a lot about the game.”
Teevens felt that Murphy was deserving of the distinction.
“He’s surely respected nationally,” Teevens said. “People listen to him. He’s very reasoned, very considerate, and very thoughtful. He is well respected in coaching circles for his expertise and ability as a coach.”
For the next 12 months, Murphy will lead an association of over 11,000 coaches from every level of college and high school competition. The AFCA’s goals range from maintaining “the highest possible standards in football and the profession of coaching football" to providing “a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football and coaching."
Murphy, a former linebacker from Kingston, Mass., now enters an elite group of football coaches who have reached the summit of the organization. Since Charles Daly of the Military Academy served as the association’s first president in 1921, legends like Woody Hayes of Ohio State, Paul Bryant of Alabama, and Bo Schembechler of Michigan have assumed the post.
During that time, four different Harvard coaches have led the organization. No other school has contributed as many presidents. The last Crimson leader before Murphy was his predecessor, Joe Restic, who served in 1988. Over the last 20 years, only two other schools have had two representatives serve as president: the University of Tennessee and the University of Washington.
While being elected president is one of the highest honors that the association can give, Murphy has been recognized by the AFCA before. After leading Cincinnati University to its first winning season in 11 years in 1993, the head coach was named the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year.
Eight years later, Murphy won the award for a second time after his Harvard team finished 9-0 to record its first unbeaten, untied season since 1913.
—Staff writer Jacob D. H. Feldman can be reached at email@example.com.
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