Gordon in the News: last updated 07/16/2009

From the NBA to the Fighting Scots

July 2, 2009

Kristin Schwabauer
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA—For a man who’s played basketball since he was 5 years old, moving to New England to coach the Gordon College men’s basketball team is no big surprise. “Basketball is in my blood,” he says.

This is Tod Murphy, former National Basketball Association (NBA) player and current assistant coach for the University of California at Irvine, his alma mater. So how does a former NBA athlete come to coach at Gordon? “For six years I’ve led UCI’s men’s basketball team as the assistant coach and was the top assistant for the last three. I’m ready to be a head coach, and Gordon has an amazing level of athletic talent on their court,” says Murphy. He’s excited that academics are important at Gordon and knows the players on his team will not only care about improving their game but also about excelling academically and growing spiritually. “I’m looking forward to being a mentor to my players and getting involved with discipleship. I’m also excited about the quality of individual I get to coach—I know my team will be willing to learn.”

At 6? 9" Murphy will certainly have a strong presence on the court and off—he’s known as a fierce competitor with high integrity and a humble spirit. He is praised by his peers as the consummate team player—willing to adjust his game or priorities to best serve the team.

Murphy had a stellar playing career. He still ranks second all-time at UCI in career scoring (1,778 points) and rebounding (837 boards). As a senior he earned Honorable Mention All-American honors from the Associated Press. He was inducted into UCI’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. After graduating with a degree in economics, Murphy led the Albany Patroons to the Continental Basketball Association title and was selected Most Valuable Player of the playoffs. He then played forward on the first Minnesota Timberwolves club in 1989, winning the team’s Defensive Player of the Year Award and leading the NBA in fewest turnovers per minute. Over Murphy’s four years in the NBA he completed stints with the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons. Following his NBA days Murphy played for several top international clubs, including teams in Italy, Greece, Spain and Japan.

At Irvine Murphy served as recruiting director, offensive coordinator and principal scout. Prior to his time at his alma mater, he spent two years as assistant coach at the University of California Riverside. He, his wife, Kelly, and their three young daughters look forward to being a part of the Gordon community. “My wife has never lived in cold weather but she’s certainly up for the adventure and very supportive. It’ll be great for my kids to experience all four seasons—because right now, in southern California, all we get is sun or rain.”

Murphy will officially start at Gordon College on July 15. He will join two more new coaches--Ruth Rosentrater who will coach women's volleyball and Warren Shumate who will coach men's lacrosse. For more information about these coaches, visit http://www.gordon.edu/athletics/.

For more information or to set up an interview, contact Kristin Schwabauer in the Office of College Communications at 978.867.4037 or .

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Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore. The College offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges.


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