Murphy Makes First Public Statement
Former ASU coach issues remarks on his forced resignation
Pat Murphy has finally broken his silence—sort of.
Three weeks after Murphy and Arizona State parted ways, Murphy issued a statement confirming speculation that his resignation was forced. The statement, sent Sunday by former Notre Dame player and former Arizona State baseball camp director John Flanagan, offered little other new information.
On Saturday, the Arizona Republic reported
that it had obtained documents showing that the resignation came after Murphy received a hand-delivered letter from athletics director Lisa Love stating that he had been terminated without cause and must turn in his keys.
"I know many people were shocked about the news of November 20 that I will no longer be the Head Coach of Arizona State University Baseball," Murphy said in the statement. "For the sake of my personal and professional integrity, and in the interest of my student-athletes, I must now set the record straight. I did not and would NEVER quit on any team . . . and certainly not this very special team I was excited about coaching in 2010, and making another run to Omaha.
"On November 20, without prior warning or explanation, I was forced to step aside as baseball coach of Arizona State. The timing of my termination is unusual, unprecedented and suspicious. Not only was our last five years a great period of sustaining a high level of performance on the field and in the classroom, it is unprecedented to remove a coach this close to the start of the season. This decision is unfortunate, especially with so many unanswered questions.
"I have worked hard my entire 27-year coaching career at schools like the University of Notre Dame and Arizona State University to build programs based on integrity, transparency, and work ethic. These programs on the field and off the field are based on winning. In the classroom at ASU we recorded the highest GPA in program history in each of the past four semesters. On the field, we went to three College World Series over the last five years, won three straight PAC-10 titles, and had more student-athletes drafted since 1999 than any other school in the country. I am extremely proud of that record.
"I am grateful to the University and its community for giving me the opportunity to learn and grow, to be called the Coach in the same program as legends Bobby Winkles and Dr. Jim Brock, and to have had the privilege to meet Pat Tillman and to coach so many great student-athletes. How fortunate I've been. Dedication to the academic and athletic development of young men and competing for National Championships will continue to be my passion and I am looking forward to my next opportunity to pursue those goals.
"I want to thank all of you that have called, sent text messages, e-mails and letters. I have been moved by the overwhelming support, and it confirms my feelings that this has been a special place for me and my children and an amazing chapter in my life. I will miss my ASU colleagues and the student athletes. I will remain committed to the 2010 team and its continued success."