Murphy: Ultimate goal is national title
Going into his 14th season, Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy is the second longest-tenured Alabama coach. Murphy has broken the mold in the world of college sports, where coaches are canned after a few years.
Murphy’s success makes him the desire of many schools — even prompting him to take the job as head coach at LSU for a few days this summer before returning to Tuscaloosa. He said Alabama, the program he has built into a powerhouse, was where he wanted to be.
With more than 20 years of experience, Murphy says growing up in Iowa and advice from his dad helped him have a successful career.
“I grew up in Iowa with pretty good Midwest values,” Murphy said. “My dad had one piece of advice for me, and it was: work hard for four years in college, and you will have forty years of easy. He was absolutely right. I’ve been coaching college since I was 22, and in my mind, I haven’t had a job a day in my life.”
One of the main reasons Murphy has been so successful during his time with the Crimson Tide is his ability to recruit top-tier players. With All-Americans like Kelsi Dunne and Kayla Braud, Murphy has shown his ability to reload his talented roster throughout the years.
“You want to find the best athlete for your program,” Murphy said. “Then we start the process of trying to get to know her to see if she will be a good fit for us. There are so many things that go into it. Her school, her academic pursuits, the position she plays, do we need anyone at that position, her graduation year [and] her distance from home are just a few things that we use while recruiting. Our main thing is finding kids that want to be at Alabama.”
Despite all of his success, Murphy does have one blip on his resume. He has yet to win a national championship. He has led the team to an SEC title and multiple 50-win seasons, but the ultimate prize for him is winning it all in Oklahoma City.
“You have to have just a little bit of luck when you get to Oklahoma City,” Murphy said. “I really do believe it’s going to happen.”
If he continues to have success, he will have many more opportunities to achieve his ultimate goal. At age 45, Murphy says he doesn’t see himself retiring anytime soon.
“I want to win a national championship, and then I can make that decision,” Murphy said. “I’m still pitching batting practice, and I’m still contributing to the team in practices, so I’m good to go for a few years. I don’t know if I can be Joe Pa, though.”