Olympic dreams for Murphy

University of Alabama head softball coach Patrick Murphy has acquired many honors, awards and trophies in the short time he's been a head coach at the Capstone, but now he can add guiding a team to the Olympics to his resume.

Last week, Murphy, the hitting instructor for the Canadian national team, helped coach the team to a 10-0 record at the "Americas Qualifier" tournament in Puerto Rico en route to garnering the final spot in the 2004 Olympic Games to be held in Athens, Greece.

"This team reminded me a lot of this year's Alabama team," said Murphy. "We were the underdog most of the summer but we thrived on that. This was a great team to work with."

The tournament was a five team round robin involving the Cayman Islands, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. After round robin play, the top two teams played a best of three series for the right to go to the Olympics. Canada and the Dominican Republic advanced with the Canadians defeating the opposition 3-2 and 3-0.

"The whole thing was surreal," said Murphy. "To get to see the road to the Olympics was just an exciting, unbelievable feeling."

The Canadians will join Australia, China, Chinese-Taipei, Greece, Italy, Japan and the United States in the 2004 games.

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