Murphy to coach NMHS football, girls' lacrosse
Updated 1:02 pm, Thursday, January 31, 2013
Mr. Murphy, 45, coached 16 years and won three state championships at Masuk High School before resigning in December.
He was set Thursday to begin his new job.
Mr. Murphy also was hired as the school's girls' lacrosse coach and as a paraeducator at Schaghticoke Middle School.
He takes over at the helm of Green Wave football from Chuch Lynch, who resigned in December after 10 seasons.
"We're excited. I think we got a coach who will give us our best opportunity to be successful," said New Milford High athletic director Lance Pliego.
Mr. Pliego added Mr. Murphy outshone 10 other candidates through three rounds of interviews with administrators, parents and other members of the community.
"As we went through the interview process," Mr. Pliego added, "we saw him as a guy who's clearly -- not just because of his history and his resume -- somebody who had a lot of interest in our program, our town and becoming a part of our community."
And the town's equally excited.
"Our players and a lot of people around town are anxious to get to know him," Mr. Pliego said.
New Milford High, which has been traditionally strong in many other sports, has had little success in football.
The Green Wave has had just four winning seasons since 1994, its last a 6-5 mark in 2008.
Its best season in the program's 47-year history was in 2001 when Tom Taylor coached the team to 8-3 record.
The Green Wave lost, 7-6, to Foran in the South-West Conference championship game.
As a borderline state class LL/L school, NMHS has never been to the state football playoffs.
"I know the records and results didn't show it," said Mr. Pliego, "but I think we've had good coaching and good players, but I think we might have been one or two players away from being a solid football team."
"We just haven't had the history," he said. "We haven't been able to translate the mentality of our wrestling and lacrosse programs to football."
Mr. Murphy, on the other hand, was 158-33-1 in 16 years at Masuk. His teams won six SWC championships, reached the playoffs 12 times and won three state titles in seven championship appearances.
He could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.
"We're hoping coach Murphy will help get more players to come out for football," said Mr. Pliego, "and sell the program and change perceptions, get the kids to puff their chests out a bit more and have that confidence to win games."
"I don't think we're that far away. I know the kids are excited. They'll find a coach who is passionate to get this turned around."
Mr. Murphy will be paid stipends of $5,822 for football and $4,626 for girls lacrosse.
Bill Kersten, the Green Wave girls' basketball coach, has been the girls' lacrosse coach in recent years, guiding NMHS to the state Division II tournament semifinals last spring.
Norm Cummings contributed to this story.