Nearly 24 hours after Pat Murphy’s abrupt resignation was announced, we know little about the circumstances that led to it. Murphy has yet to break his silence publicly, leaving Arizona State athletic director Lisa Love’s cryptic remarks to the Arizona Republic as the only clues to his mysterious departure.
Meanwhile, the Republic’s ASU beat writer, Jeff Metcalfe, reflected on Murphy’s 15-year tenure in Tempe, concluding that the larger-than-life coach will be missed. East Valley Tribune columnist Scott Bordow echoed those sentiments. Both Metcalfe and Bordow capture Murphy’s essence—by turns he’s an entertainer, a court jester, a hothead. He has battled his demons, but he has an incredibly generous, loyal nature as well. Love him or hate him, you have to hand it to Murphy: He is interesting. Unquestionably, he is the most interesting, outsized personality in college baseball. The sport needs him, and I look forward to his re-emergence elsewhere in college baseball soon.
Reading Metcalfe’s and Bordow’s recollections of Murphy, I was reminded of John Manuel’s column about Murphy at the 2007 College World Series. That was a coach seemingly at peace with himself and his place at Arizona State. It was easy to imagine that Murphy coaching the Sun Devils for another 20 years, carving out his own legacy alongside those of coaching legends Bobby Winkles and Jim Brock. As it is, Murphy will be remembered and missed in Tempe—as much for his personality as for his on-field accomplishments.
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