Murphy Leaves Tide For LSU Softball

Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore has made some good coaching hires in his career. Now he will be challenged for another as Crimson Tide Softball Coach Patrick Murphy announced Thursday evening that he was leaving Bama and accepting the same position at LSU.

Murphy, who was an assistant coach at Alabama when the program was founded and ascended to the head position 13 years ago, has pointed out that only one person has seen every Alabama softball game. He then adds that he hasn't seen the end of all of those games because he was sometimes tossed.

Murphy leaves Tuscaloosa after leading the Crimson Tide to its best finish ever at the Women's College World Series in 2011.

"I can't say enough about the job Patrick has done for us here at Alabama," said UA Athletics Director Mal Moore. "He's an outstanding individual. He has built this program up to the top level nationally. I hate to see him go, but I wish him the very best. He'll be missed in Tuscaloosa. We will start a search for a new head coach immediately."

Murphy guided Alabama to a 53-11 record this past season that included a third place finish at the WCWS and a second straight Southeastern Conference regular season title. Under his direction in 2011 Murphy had four players earn NFCA All-American honors and five garner All-SEC accolades, including two-time SEC Pitcher of the Year Kelsi Dunne.

In his 13 seasons at Alabama, Murphy amassed a 712-210 overall record and a 287-86 mark in league contests while guiding the Crimson Tide to seven WCWS, seven SEC championships (four tournament and three regular season) and a postseason berth every season. Alabama won 50 or more games nine times under Murphy, including each of his last seven seasons. Alabama posted its best records in 2000 (66-14) and 2005 (63-15).

Individually, 17 players earned NFCA All-American honors under Murphy's tutelage while 126 were named Academic All-SEC and seven garnered Academic All-American honors. The coaching staff was named the NFCA South Region Coaching Staff of the Year on six different occasions.

Murphy leaves Tuscaloosa for the program previously coached by his mentor, NFCA and Louisiana Hall of the Fame coach, Yvette Girouard. The Waterloo, Iowa, native comes to Baton Rouge with a career .772 winning percentage, fourth-highest in NCAA history.

Murphy graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a B.S. in History Education in 1988 and earned his master's degree four years later in Mass Communication while serving as Girouard's top assistant at Louisiana-Lafayette.

Alyson Habetz, Alabama's Associate Head Coach, will also join Murphy at LSU. Habetz, a native of Crowley, La., was a NFCA Third Team All-America and a member of the 1993 WCWS team at Louisiana-Lafayette during her playing days. Habetz has been a member of Murphy's staff at Alabama for 13 years.

Alabama junior Cassie Reilly-Boccia said, "Coach Murphy is one of the best coaches in the country and I wish him the best of luck in the future. We are all going to miss Coach Murphy very much but we are going to try our best to stick together as a team and continue playing Alabama softball."

Kayla Braud, an All-America this season as a sophomore, said, "We are all extremely sad to see Coach Murphy and Aly (Habetz) go but we are going to come together as players, as a team and do everything we possibly can to ensure the stability of this program and continue the strong Crimson Tide winning tradition."

BamaMag Top Stories