Story Courtesy Georgia Southern Athletics-
Georgia Southern Director of Athletics Tom Kleinlein has announced John Murphy will be the new head coach of the Eagles’ men’s soccer program. Murphy will become the program’s seventh head coach, coming to Statesboro after a two-year stint as the associate head coach at Boston College.
“”We’re excited to welcome John Murphy from the Boston College Eagle Nation to our Eagle Nation,” Kleinlein said. “In Coach Murphy, we gain someone who has head coaching experience at the collegiate level and has also had success at two Power 5 schools, internationally and in the MLS.”
“First and foremost, I’d like to thank Tom Kleinlein, Jeff Blythe and the entire search committee for this fantastic opportunity at Georgia Southern University,” Murphy said. “My family and I are truly overwhelmed with the way we have been received and we look forward to an exciting future in Statesboro. During my brief time on campus, I felt a great energy for not only the men’s soccer program, but for the athletic department, the university and the surrounding area. I am truly excited for the future of this program with the manpower, resources and collective synergy around the university at this time. The love that the student-athletes, the staff, the community and the alumni have for Georgia Southern is remarkable, and it speaks to the quality of the education, the athletic experience and the social environment on campus.
“Secondly, I would like to thank Boston College, head coach Ed Kelly and the members of the soccer team for their support and efforts during my time at the Heights,” Murphy continued. “We accomplished much together in two seasons and I look forward to following them this fall. Finally, I would also like to thank former coach Kevin Kennedy for his support during this process. There will be much to do in the coming weeks as we plan to put a very competitive team on the field in 2016. With that in mind, my family and I can’t wait to get to Statesboro and make some new friends in this special community.”
A 20-year coaching veteran, Murphy has 10 years of coaching experience in the professional ranks and has served as an assistant coach at Boston College, Clemson and Brown. He was also a head coach at Anderson University (S.C.) (2012-13), Livingston FC (2009), Assumption College (1998-2000) and Massasoit Community College (1994), his alma mater. He was twice named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) New England Coach of the Year in 1994 and again in 2000.
Murphy has guided his teams to nine conference titles and has developed three players to Freshman of the Year honors. His Massasoit team earned the 1994 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Academic Male Team award for highest GPA and Assumption College won the 2000 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division II championship. Murphy also helped guide the 2014 and 2015 BC Eagles to the NSCAA College Team Academic award for Division I teams with a 3.0 or better GPA.
In 2009, he became the first American citizen to work in British professional soccer as a coach when he was hired by Livingston of the Scottish First Division. During that time, he worked with current standout players Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Andy Halliday (Rangers) and Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).
For the last two seasons, Murphy has served as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Boston College where he was a member of New England Soccer Hall of Fame head coach Ed Kelly’s staff. As Boston College’s recruiting coordinator, Murphy oversaw a 12-player recruiting class that was rated in the College Soccer News 2015 Top 50 Recruiting Classes and an additional 12-player recruiting class for 2016. The 2015 squad had one of the best turnarounds in NCAA Division I with an 11-8-3 record, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight while beating Vermont, the University of South Florida and Georgetown along the way. For his efforts, Murphy was named as one of the top Division I coaches in 2015 by College Soccer News.
Additionally, Murphy was the lead radio analyst for the New England Revolution matches on 98.5 the Sports Hub. His work in the community included leading the NEFC U-18 Boys to the NPL National Championship game this past July in Denver, Colorado.
Prior to joining the BC Eagles’ staff, Murphy spent two seasons at as the head coach of the Anderson Trojans where he compiled a record of 18-17-7, including a +6 improvement in win total from his first year to his second. He led the Trojans to the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) tournament title in his first season (2012) and they qualified for the NCAA Tournament in his second season (2013) following a return trip to the SAC Tournament Finals. Anderson was ranked as high as No. 19 in the NSCAA national poll in 2013.
Before leading Anderson, Murphy was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for two years at Clemson. His two recruiting classes for the Tigers both ranked in the top 20 in the nation according to College Soccer News. Those classes eventually helped Clemson to the 2014 ACC Tournament Title and the 2015 College Cup Final appearance.
Murphy has also spent nine seasons on the Major League Soccer sidelines. He served as an assistant coach for the New England Revolution (2000-03) and the Columbus Crew SC (2004) before serving as an assistant coach and director of player development for the Colorado Rapids (2005-08). While with the Rapids, he also served as the head coach for the reserve team and guided them to the Reserve League championship in 2007. The core of that team went on to eventually win the MLS Cup in 2010. Columbus won its first Eastern Conference regular-season title and the 2004 MLS Supporters’ Shield in Murphy’s one year as an assistant and New England was a finalist in the 2001 US Open Cup and the 2002 MLS Cup while he was on the staff.
Murphy’s eye for talent in the college drafts assisted each club in their acquisitions of players such as Clint Dempsey, Taylor Twellman and Shalrie Joseph (New England) as well as Bouna Coundoul, Jacob Peterson and Nick Labrocca (Colorado). In both New England and Colorado, Murphy was also charged with establishing and growing two separate youth academies, overseeing philosophy, curriculum development and programming.
Murphy’s first Division I coaching experience came at Brown University where he was current Clemson head coach Mike Noonan’s assistant from 1995-98. During his four seasons at Brown, Murphy helped guide the Bears to three NCAA tournament appearances and back-to-back Ivy League Conference Titles in 1997 and 1998. The Bears were ranked as high as third during the 1995 campaign, the program’s highest national ranking. During the 1998 season, the Bears went undefeated in Ivy League action, including securing six shutouts over the seven conference foes.
Murphy got his coaching start at his alma mater, Massasoit Community College, where he led the Warriors to an 18-4-2 record in 1994. That season, Murphy and the Warriors claimed the Colonial States Conference title, were crowned the NJCAA New England Champions and were the NJCAA national semi-finalists, scoring 122 goals along the way. That mark was a national junior college record at the time.
Murphy has authored two books on soccer and published an instructional DVD set through Championship Productions. As an NSCAA National Staff Coach, Murphy is well known nation-wide as an educator and advocate for the game.
He holds the UEFA Pro Badge from the Scottish Football Association, a U.S. Soccer “A” License and a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma. He was the first foreign-born coach to earn an English Football Association “A” Goalkeeper Coaching License in 2003.
A native of Quincy, Massachusetts, Murphy earned an associate’s degree from Massasoit Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater State and a degree in applied management from the University of Warwick in conjunction with the League Managers Association of England. He played in goal at Massasoit in 1985-86 and was a member of the undefeated 1986 NJCAA national championship team. Murphy was enshrined in the Massasoit Community College Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member of that 1986 team.
John and his wife, Erin, have three sons, Shay (13), Eamon (10) and Declan (7). They plan on living in the greater Statesboro area.
Georgia Southern will kick off the 2016 season with a home exhibition match against SCAD on Tuesday, Aug. 16 before going on the road for five straight games, including the first four of the regular-season. Georgia Southern will open their home slate on Friday, Sept. 9 against James Madison at 7 p.m.