Thursday, January 8, 2009
For the first time in nearly 15 years, a change is coming atop the University of West Georgia Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Ed Murphy will retire as the university’s Director of Athletics effective January 31.
“I am most grateful to everyone in the West Georgia family,” said Murphy of his decision. “I am grateful to President Beheruz Sethna for the opportunity to work with him for all these years and to former athletic director Dave Dugan for recruiting me to UWG, and to many others who have been a big part of our athletics program.”
When Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna came to UWG as president, Murphy was serving as interim AD and Sethna confirmed his appointment to the permanent position. According to Sethna, “he has justified my confidence in him with exceptional leadership.
“I have relied on him on matters concerning the Gulf South Conference where he is regarded as being a voice of authority on a large number of matters. I will miss his advice and counsel in his AD role, and hope that he will continue to help UWG in other ways. Through the past 32 years, I have known other good ADs, but Ed stands alone!” Sethna said.
Despite two battles with cancer in recent years, Murphy emphasized that health was no factor in his retirement decision. “I’m feeling good; there has been no recurrence of those issues.”
Murphy adds, “I have three grandchildren in Washington, and two more in North Carolina. I want to spend some time with them and get to enjoy watching them grow up. And, I have some other things in which I want to get involved. I will stay busy.”
Even with the travels to grandchildren, etc., Murphy and wife Shelly will remain a fixture in the Carrollton community. “We are so fortunate,” he says, “to be able to retire in a place where we want to live. We love this area and want to remain a part of this community.”
Murphy came to West Georgia in April 1993 to serve as men’s head basketball coach. He served in that capacity for 14 seasons, winning 279 games. His teams won six GSC East titles, the 2002 conference crown, and the 2002 NCAA South Region title.
West Georgia’s total athletic program also had its share of success with Murphy at the helm. UWG teams won 12 Gulf South Conference titles and three NCAA Regional crowns during Murphy’s tenure as athletics director.
As UWG athletics enters a new era, the program has no bigger fan than Murphy. “I’m 100 percent in favor of the path our administration has chosen, as far as the possible move to Division I, new facilities, etc.,” said Murphy. “This will require someone (as A.D.) who can start the job and finish the job. It’s time — time for West Georgia and time for me. I feel great about it.”
Dr. Michael Ruffner, vice president for University Advancement, said a search will be conducted for the athletics director position. An interim athletics director will be appointed to provide leadership to the department during the search process.
“I hope to continue to benefit from Ed’s advice and experience as we move toward Division I and other university goals,” Ruffner noted. “I look forward to his valuable assistance.”