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Breaking News: Arizona State’s Murphy resigns

UPDATED on 11/21 at 2:15AM

PatMurphyASU Mark Rafferty who contributes to this site and runs has informed me that Arizona State baseball coach Pat Murphy resigned effective immediately according to a press release from ASU. Murphy was set to enter his 16th season with the Sun Devils program. He led the Sun Devils to the College World Series four times while being a dominant team in the Pac-10 conference winning it the last three seasons. is all over this story so I encourage you to check out the site by clicking here.

UPDATE #1: Josh Holliday left Arizona State after last season for Vanderbilt and Tim Esmy did not return this season after spending nine seasons with his alma mater. Also, Andy Stankiewicz resigned two days ago for a scouting job in MLB. This was a normal move but now it is questionable on whether he knew something was on the horizon? I am trying to track down the reason.

UPDATE #2: Amy K. Nelson and Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN both wrote a fantastic article back in 2008 about the relationship of Murphy and former player Max Moreno that you can check out by clicking here.

UPDATE #3: Couple of my sources around the Arizona State program state that Athletic Director Lisa L. Love and Murphy butted heads during her tenure at the school. This is not unexpected as you can see from the link above that Murphy can rub people the wrong way.

UPDATE #4: Aaron Fitt of Baseball America has an interesting quote from Pat Murphy’s close friend and Oregon State head coach Pat Casey which shows this was not planned at all. Fitt says “I just got off the phone with Oregon State coach Pat Casey, who had not yet heard the news about Murphy’s resignation and was understandably stunned. Casey is one of Murphy’s closest friends in the college coaching world, and the fact that Casey hadn’t heard this news indicates that this decision was not planned well in advance. Casey even said he spoke with Murphy on the phone “the other day” and Murphy did not say anything about a plan to resign.”

UPDATE #5: Jeff Metcalfe of The Arizona Republic has some interesting comments from ASU Vice President of Athletics Lisa Love. “We’re supportive and appreciative of his work,” Love said of Murphy. “We’re working on an interim staff for this (upcoming 2010) season. That’s of the utmost concern. Then we’ll begin a national search” for a new coach. About the timing of the resignation, Love said: “It’s been a long, hard couple of years and an arduous process. Pat is where he is, and we’re where we are. It’s an amicable parting dictated by Pat.””

UPDATE #6: The State Press which is the student paper for Arizona State has a couple of quotes from players.

“This is a shock to everyone in the program. We just found out about this today,” senior third baseman Raoul Torrez said. “It’s kind of hard to deal with it right now, but if we stick together, we’ll make it through.”

Said senior first baseman Kole Calhoun: “This is a sad day for ASU. … Nobody thought this was going to happen when we came to lift this morning, but it did and now we can just move forward. No matter what happens with leadership or whatever else is going on, our goal is always to win a national championship, so that’s where we stand.”

UPDATE #7: The East Valley Tribune writer Scott Bordow has a great article about some of the great things that Murphy did when he was a head coach that not everybody might be aware of.

You can check out the press release below from Arizona State media relations.


TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University baseball coach Pat Murphy announced his resignation today. An interim head coach will assume responsibility for the program until his replacement is selected.

“Coach Murphy has an outstanding record of success on the playing field,” said Lisa Love, university vice president for athletics. “I thank him for 16 years of hard work and service to the university and the sport.”

Pat Murphy became ASU’s head baseball coach in August 1994. During his tenure, he was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year four times, his teams took three straight Pac-10 titles and four World Series berths, and in 1998 he was named the National Coach of the Year.

Since the 2000 season, no other Pac-10 school has won as many games as ASU, both overall and conference games. Murphy has also had more players drafted by Major League Baseball since 1995 than any other coach in the nation.

ASU will immediately begin a national search for a new head baseball coach.

  • This whole thing seems nuts. Guy is a legend, but there are clearly some issues there… Either with the program, the administration or the social skills on the part of the people leading both.

  • Agreed, the real truth will come out soon.

  • Lyle

    Wow! my kid went to Texas Arlington on schorarship and we had hoped he would play for Murph.

    I talked to him today and he is a freshman and he is saddened. We both loved him and admired his accomplishments. He met him on a travel club and it was amazing!

    We hope the best for him and his family and continued success at ASU ecsspecially because I am a local.

  • John Coktoston

    Crazy news to say the least, but this had to be something BIG. Regardless of any personality conflicts Murph was having with the athletic department, etc…he would never on his own just “quit” 2 months before the season starts & just after siging 13 new recruits. The news came as a shock to the players as well. The only way Murph resigns is (1) he had a gun to his head & had no choice (b/c of an off-field issue) or (2) there’s a job in the big leagues waiting for him (which is highly unlikely). He’s been trying to get “more money for the program” for the last 10 years…if he knew he didn’t have support from the Athletic Dept, he would have coached out the season & then looked for another high profile coaching job when the 2010 was over. NO WAY HE QUITS ON HIS OWN…the “rest of the story” will come out in the following days, i’m sure of it.

  • Exactly John, noone has been able to come up with a reason yet. I have heard some stuff that I can’t confirm so I will not be posting it with respect to Murphy and the ASU program.

  • Scott

    Something tells me that something has gone down that might preclude Murphy from getting a job soon. One, you haven’t heard from him. Pat Murphy never shied away from telling his side of the story, ever. I would doubt that he would see his retirement as a time to go quiet. Two, there has been a measured amount of thanks given by the ASU athletic department. One article with just a couple of paragraphs isn’t given to a coach who resigns after almost making the world series finals last year. People seem to think that this is between the president and the coach, which it might be in some way, but something else has to be involved. I have seen one or two speculations that would be pretty serious, but they are really pure speculation. If ASU or Murphy think that this goes away with no one doing any checking, I think they are seriously delusional.

  • John Coktoston

    Mr. Foley…can you shed some light for all of us as to what may be happening in Tempe? The newspapers, the school, the TV stations…they’ve all stopped reporting this story. It’s been almost 5 days & the public has no information. As a reporter, when will you begin demanding answers from ASU, as to why Pat Murphy resigned. I can’t believe that has just let this story slip completely off their website/pages. The resignation of Pat Murphy is a HUGE deal & has major implications for Sun Devil baseball. The fans & the public deserve an answer, sooner rather than later.

    • I agree with you…even the major sites can’t pull in anything on this. I have some contacts in the industry and none of them have come up with a logical explanation yet.

  • Lisa Garcia

    Does anyone know why Murphy was escorted off by Police? Don’t know what police dept. Maybe college police?

    • I heard he was escorted off by security that could mean Police. Maybe they thought he might damage something on his way out or something like that.

  • John Coktoston

    Mr Foley,

    At what point do you begin to call ASU, etc…to find out what happened here w/the resigation of Mr. Murphy? Can you elaborate on the “info/chatter” that you’ve heard in the college baseball community? I continue to be in “great shock” as there has been little to no, followthrough w/investigation into this story. Are you at the mercy of what the ASU athletic department tells you? At the very least, you think the news outlets would run a story on how the current baseball team is dealing w/this situation, etc… Please let us know your thoughts.

    • John,

      I am at the mercy that Baseball America and Rivals is. Noone can come up with a reason. ASU is being quiet on this for some reason even Eric Sorenson of CollegeBaseballToday who has an excellent relationship with Coach Murph hasn’t gotten the full story.

      I have heard a few rumors on the reasons but I am not confident in breaking them up in a public forum. John, If you want I can catch you on an IM service if you give me your contact information at

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