Saturday, October 10, 2009
Coach Murphy was the face of Titan football for its final 13 seasons (1980-1992). Despite having no home stadium until the final year and very little in the way of resources, he built a program that in a span of seven years (1983-89) won consecutive conference championships (1983 and 1984) and finished in second place four times. He led the Titans to their only bowl appearance – the 1983 California Bowl in Fresno vs. Northern Illinois – and his 1984 team was 11-1 on the field (12-0 after a forfeit from UNLV) and was ranked in the national Top 20. His career record was 59-89-1 – 31-19 at home and 28-70-1 on the road.
Murphy had a knack for hiring brilliant young assistant coaches who served the Titans well before advancing in their careers. His legacy includes two future NFL head coaches (Steve Mariucci and Tom Cable) and numerous NFL and major college coordinators and assistants.
Murphy also was popular with his players on a personal level, showing true concern for their extended families and children. He had great rapport with the Fullerton and Orange County communities and developed long-lasting support groups. After the Titan program was suspended, he became head coach at Fullerton College in 1993 and continued in that role through his recent retirement.