THURSDAY, JANUARY 07, 2010
JU names Tommy Murphy assistant baseball coach
Tommy Murphy, who spent two years in the major leagues and was a member of four professional organizations over the last 10 years, has been named the new assistant coach at Jacksonville University by head coach Terry Alexander. Murphy will replace Todd Claus on the staff after he was recruited back to his advanced scouting position with the Boston Red Sox.
In 10 professional seasons, which began after being scouted out of college and managed by Claus, Murphy spent eight years with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2000-07) before his final two years with the Florida Marlins (2008), Washington Nationals (2008) and Kansas City Royals (2009).
“Now that my playing career has come to an end, I look forward to bringing all that I have learned both on and off the field to Jacksonville University,” said Murphy. “My goal is to not only bring a vast knowledge of the game but to also instill distinguishing characteristics into this program and all those that I come in contact. I’m both honored and grateful for the opportunity to be able to start my college coaching career at JU.”
A third-round choice by the Angels in 2000, Murphy worked his way through the franchise’s farm system with the Boise Hawks (Low-A, 2000), Cedar Rapids Kernels (Single-A, 2001, 2002 – under Claus), Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High-A, 2001, 2003) , Arkansas Travelers (Double-A, 2004-05) and Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A, 2006-07) before making it to the majors. In 2006, he was called up to the Angels on May 4 and played in 48 games as a center fielder. In 2007, he started out on the opening day roster with the squad and played in 20 games throughout the year while bouncing back and forth between the majors and Salt Lake.
“I’m excited to have a qualified individual like Tommy Murphy joining our staff,” Alexander said. “Tommy is not only a former major leaguer with 10 years of professional playing experience but he has personality plus. He is also a family man with a supportive wife and three small children. Though he does not posses any coaching experience, all of his professional coaches to a man say that Tommy was a coach in the field.”
After being granted free agency in 2008, Murphy was signed by the Washington Nationals and sent to the Columbus Clippers (Triple-A) for 70 games. After being released by the Nationals, the Florida Marlins picked up his rights and played out the rest of the season with the Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A). After being granted free agency again in 2009, he was signed by the Kansas City Royals and invited to spring training before finishing the season with the Omaha Royals (Triple-A).
A three-year letterwinner as an outfielder at Florida Atlantic University, Murphy was a 1999 Baseball America Pre-Season All-America selection before helping the Owls to the nation’s best record (54-9), while also tying Texas’ 1977 record with 34 consecutive victories that season. The Suffern, N.Y. native was inducted into the FAU Baseball Hall of Fame on Feb. 21, 2008.
The Tommy Murphy File
Full Name: Tommy Murphy