February 9, 2021

AD Murphy announces retirement

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BY: Danny Barrett Jr.

Hinds Community College Athletic Director Gene Murphy has announced his retirement, effective Feb. 28, 2021.

“Coach Murphy has been an integral part of the Hinds Community College family and had a far-reaching influence on athletes that is immeasurable,” said Hinds Community College President Dr. Stephen Vacik.

Murphy has been athletic director since July 1997 and served two stints as head football coach, the first time from 1987 to 2003 and the second time from 2009 to August 2017. 

In fall 2017, the field at Joe Renfroe Stadium on the Raymond Campus was named Gene Murphy Field in his honor

During his tenure and until retiring as head coach, Murphy had been the winningest active coach in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Football teams under his tenure won a number of state and regional titles. Beginning in 1987, the Eagles under Coach Murphy played for nine state championships in 14 years.

In fall 2017, the field at Joe Renfroe Stadium on the Raymond Campus was named Gene Murphy Field in his honor.

In 1988, the Eagles won the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College title and National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 title. These successful titles were followed up a few years later by a four-peat between 1994 and 1997 for both trophies, and a sixth state and regional title under Murphy and the program’s 13th overall came in 2000.

Murphy’s teams have gone 172-76-5 in his two tenures as coach, from 1987-2003 and 2009-2017. He guided teams to the state playoffs 14 times and eight junior college bowl games.

During that stretch, numerous former Eagles have gone on to notable careers at four-year universities and more than 50 have played in the National Football League. One of his former players, Brad Banks, was a Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2002.

“Coach Murphy was an outstanding football coach as is evidenced by his record,” said Rick Trusty, president of the Hinds Community College Athletics Alumni Chapter. “He accomplished something truly outstanding as he coached teams to win the state championship four years in a row. This brought much recognition to the college, and we will benefit from the foundation that he laid for years to come.

“His Christian influence on the young men that played for him goes beyond the field of play.  He helped them become successful men — not just football players,” Trusty said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with him and wish him well.  He certainly deserves to enjoy some time for himself.”

Marks of success both on the football field and off are evident in the 15 times the college won the David Halbrook Award since 1987. The award is given to the community or junior college with the highest percentage of graduates or completers in its athletic programs district-wide.

“The strong foundation that he has established leaves the college in a positive position as we continue to move forward in becoming different, better and purposeful,” Dr. Vacik said.

The college intends to conduct a comprehensive search for an athletic director.