May 14, 2011

media-icon-photogallery.gifThe Pat Murphy Years | media-icon-photogallery.gifDedication Photo Gallery

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Coach Pat Murphy Locker Room, new home to the University of Notre Dame baseball team, was dedicated at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at Frank Eck Stadium, and former Irish baseball coach Pat Murphy was on-hand for the ceremonial event. Monogram Club Executive Director Beth Hunter also presented Murphy with an honorary monogram.

The renovation project was made possible through the generous gift of Daniel Murphy, David Murphy, Bert Bondi (’67), Craig Counsell (’92) and John Counsell (’64), as well as other generous supporters of Notre Dame baseball.

The Coach Pat Murphy Locker Room, located within Notre Dame’s Frank Eck Baseball Stadium, was the first major renovation endeavor since the stadium’s construction in 1994.

The project included a redesign of the team space to make it more efficient and improve circulation between the clubhouse, shower, rest room facilities and the dugout. A kitchenette and mudroom were added along with direct access to and from the dugout area.

The locker space was completely overhauled with the installation of 36 brand new, 30-inch wood lockers including four specially designed corner lockers for the catchers. Lastly, new flat screen, high definition televisions and state-of-the-art RightView Pro technology was installed.

Pat Murphy spent seven seasons (1988-94) as head coach at Notre Dame, where he guided the Irish to a consistent level of success previously unmatched in the history of the program. Building the program from the ground up with the support of only four full scholarships, Murphy guided the Irish to a 318-116-1 (.732) record, including three consecutive trips to the NCAA regional finals in 1992, `93 and `94, a streak matched only by Texas.

Murphy built Notre Dame into a perennial top-25 program. Under his guidance, the Irish averaged more than 46 wins per season and rejuvenated the pride in Notre Dame baseball, which ultimately led to the construction of Frank Eck Stadium in the fall of 1993.

Murphy began his tenure in South Bend in 1988, taking over a team that posted a combined 65-80 record in the three previous seasons. With a nucleus of players who finished 15-29 in `87, and had never enjoyed a winning season at Notre Dame, Murphy began revamping the program and promptly led the Irish to a 39-22 mark. The 39 victories were the most in the 96-year history of the Irish program at the time. Notre Dame triumphed twice over a powerhouse Miami (Fla.) squad, setting a precedent for victories over the nation’s premier programs that became a trademark of his tenure.

The following six campaigns saw the Irish garner national rankings, conference titles, NCAA tournament appearances, 45-win seasons and more.

Murphy’s efforts were rewarded in just two years, as in 1989 the Irish posted a school-record 48 wins and logged their first NCAA tournament appearance in 19 years. Murphy guided the program to its first national ranking as the Irish were rated that year as high as 16th in The Sporting News, 23rd in Baseball America and 24th in the Collegiate Baseball polls. Later, Notre Dame would earn its first Midwestern Collegiate Conference title by winning the final four games of the conference tournament in a span of 23 hours as Murphy snared his first MCC Coach of the Year honor.

Notre Dame followed up the 1989 campaign with back-to-back 45-win seasons in ’90 and `91. The `90 squad put together a 46-12 record, good for a .793 winning percentage that ranked fourth in the nation. Over the last 29 games of the year, Notre Dame posted a 25-4 mark to bring Murphy another MCC Coach of the Year award.

In 1991, Notre Dame overcame a schedule that saw the Irish play their first 27 games on the road to record a 45-16 record. Included were wins away from home over national powers Texas and Miami (Fla.) as well as eventual national champion LSU and a midseason 18-game winning streak.

Incredibly, neither the 1990 nor ’91 Notre Dame squads received an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.

The 1992, `93 and `94 seasons added emphasis to Murphy’s status as one of the nation’s top coaches, as his Notre Dame squads grabbed MCC titles and, in each year, beat regional hosts to come within one game of a trip to the College World Series. The Irish went 48-15 in 1992 and 46-16 in ’93. It’s no wonder why Notre Dame was labeled in `92 by Baseball America as “the nation’s fastest rising program.”

The 1994 Notre Dame squad finished 46-16 and, again, came within one win of a trip to the College World Series. The MCC Champions advanced to the finals of the NCAA East Regional in Clemson, S.C., knocking off the host and No. 1-ranked Tigers along the way. Notre Dame finished the season ranked 18th by Collegiate Baseball and 20th by Baseball America.

Murphy became only the third head coach in Arizona State’s modern baseball history when he was hired in August of 1994. His 15-year tenure at the helm of the Sun Devil program was marked with incredible success. Murphy went 585-284-1 and led Arizona State to the NCAA Tournament 10 straight years (2000-09) and 12 times overall. The 585 wins are the second most in school history. He owns an all-time 55-33 record in NCAA Tournament action as a head coach and was 46-25 in postseason play at Arizona State.

In over 25 years of coaching at the collegiate level, Murphy owns a career 956-457-4 record, averaging over 40 wins a year.

Murphy, who was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year on four occasions (2000, ’07, ’08 and ’09), became the youngest collegiate coach to reach 500 career victories. Eight times over his last 13 years as head coach at Arizona State, the Sun Devils finished ranked in the top 12 in the country. Arizona State finished inside the top 10 four different times over his last five years, a feat only four other schools matched. In fact, three times in that same decade, Murphy had teams finish in the top three in the country.