Football's Tim Murphy Recovering Following Offseason Surgery

After suffering an undisclosed health concern that required a medical procedure earlier this month, Harvard football coach Tim Murphy is recovering at home and is in good condition.

“Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, is recovering well from a medical issue he suffered earlier this month,” according to a statement by the Harvard Athletic Department.

“He is expected to make a complete and full return to all coaching activities beginning this spring.”

After remaining at the hospital for a few days following an operation, Murphy has been recovering at his home in Wayland, Mass., over the past several weeks. The 57-year-old coach originally notified members of the football team of his medical situation three weeks prior to the surgery.

“We were told that [Murphy] was having a certain medical procedure done and he’s been home recovering, and that it went well,” captain Norman Hayes said. “We weren’t told anything specific.”

In his 20th season at the helm of Crimson football, Murphy guided the team to a 9-1 record and its 15th Ivy League title—the Wayland native’s seventh in his tenure at Harvard. He is a five-time recipient of the New England Coach of the Year award and is third in Ivy history in career coaching victories with 137.

Under Murphy, no four-year Harvard player has ever graduated without winning an Ancient Eight title. The coach’s absence has been felt.

“Of course it affects [offseason routines] not having the lead man, his presence in drills, but it hasn’t affected it in a negative way,” Hayes said. “Coach Murphy [is] always talking about dealing with adversity, and I think it’s a true testament to his leadership that we’ve been able to handle this as a team.”

In Murphy’s absence, offensive coordinator Joel Lamb and defensive coordinator Scott Larkee have assumed head coaching duties. Over the past few weeks, they have managed offseason practices and drills in preparation for Murphy’s return to spring practices.

“[Lamb has] been a good coach,” Hayes said. “He’s been there supporting us in every one of the drills. Both coach Lamb and coach Larkee…have been communicating with the team what to work towards, and [making] sure we still have the end goal of the season in mind.”

—Staff writer Caleb Lee can be reached at