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Murphy Finds New Home with Holy Cross

September 21, 2018

LOWELL -- Surely, Patrick Murphy has moved several times during his nomadic coaching career.

After all, since leaving Dracut High, where he coached from 2004-07, Murphy has coached at Harvard, Bryant, Saint Anselm, Tufts and now Holy Cross.

Actually, though, no.

Shirley, not -- Murphy has lived in his Shirley home since 2005.

“It’s a town that’s an hour from everywhere,” he said, laughing.

The longest Murphy has coached anywhere is eight seasons (2008-15) when he was the head coach at Saint Anselm in Manchester, N.H.

Murphy hopes he can set down roots at Holy Cross, where he’s the new offensive coordinator.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Murphy said. “I’ve never worried about the next job. If I stay here for the rest of my career I’d be a happy guy.”

Murphy grew up in Ayer, just 25 minutes or so from the Holy Cross campus “in the heyday” of Crusader football when Fitton Field was packed with spectators.

The Crusaders are off to a 1-2 start. After falling to Colgate and Boston College, Holy Cross rallied from a 21-0 deficit to defeat Ivy League power Yale in overtime, 31-28, last week.

Murphy has reason to be optimistic about Holy Cross, as freshmen make up one-third of the team’s roster.

The school has a made real commitment to the program, supplying the staff with a new weight room, new football offices and a new indoor practice facility.

“We’ve had some NFL teams come by and say they wished they had our weight room,” he said.

After two seasons at Tufts, Murphy accepted the offensive coordinator’s position at Georgetown University. His family stayed behind in Shirley as he commuted back and forth for two months. Then, out of the blue, he got a call from Holy Cross. New head coach Bob Chesney, the former Assumption coach who coached against Murphy when he was at Saint Anselm, offered Murphy the chance to run the Holy Cross offense.

“It was the right place, right time. There was no way I could say no,” he said.

Georgetown’s administration was supportive when Murphy told him he wanted to return to Central Mass. and rejoin his family.

He and his wife, Lisa, have three daughters, Tyler, Riley and Ava. Ava was born in 2005 the morning Dracut put up 51 points and hammered Andover.

“I still have a lot of pictures from those Dracut years,” he said.

Now Murphy has a 20-25 minute commute to Worcester from his Shirley home. About that home. Funny story. Murphy bought the property when it was a funeral home. His buddy, current Dracut High football coach Jay Rivers, helped him gut the building before contractors finished the job.

“I tell people it’s Murphy’s Mortuary. We’re open all the time,” he joked.

At Fitchburg State, the Falcons have limped out to a 0-3 start. But Chris Tamukedde, a 2014 Lowell Catholic graduate, has been a bright spot. He has gained 114 yards on 27 carries, with a long run of 37 yards.

Follow Barry Scanlon on Twitter @BarryScanlonSun

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