Former Players Honor Retired Coach Murphy

by | Nov 1, 2021 | Foundation

More than 150 former Hinds football players were among 350 guests attending a special pregame tailgate celebration for retired head football coach and athletic director Gene Murphy on Sept. 23.

“Words cannot do justice for how proud I’ve been for all our coaches and our teams through the years,” Murphy told his former players. “I want to thank you for the commitment you had, the standards and vision of this program, because it was not an overnight process. It’s been a long winding road. It’s been a great ride.”

Retired former coach Dot Murphy handled the coin toss before the Sept. 23 game against Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Retired football coach Dot Murphy, Gene Murphy’s wife, conducted the coin toss before the game. She became the first female football coach in National Junior College Athletic Association history when she was selected to coach the wide receivers in 1984.

She was a member of the United States Women’s Basketball team in 1972 and 1973, where she was a silver medalist in the World University Games in Moscow, Russia in 1973. She was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. She was also listed as one of Mississippi’s top 50 Athletes of the Century in Sports Illustrated.

President Emeritus Dr. Clyde Muse, who has known both the Murphys for more than 50 years, reflected on the Murphy era.

Dr. Clyde Muse attends Gene Murphy’s retirement event.

“He was quite a disciplinarian, but he made such a contribution to many of you over those years as you developed into athletes, football players, not only here but going on to colleges and universities,” Dr. Muse said. “I remember one time counting up, and we had 13 of our former players playing that weekend in the pros.”

Zach Crockett, who played running back in 1990-1991 and went on to Florida State University and five National Football League teams, said his father had just passed away when he came to Hinds.

Terrance Williams (1997-1998), Tavarius Wilson (2010-2011), Zach Crockett (1990-1991), Jaret Holmes (1994-1995), Gene Murphy, Malcom Butler (2009, 2011), Mark Smith (1994), Lon Paul Sherman (1985-1987) and Dot Murphy.

“I was looking for that father figure. This was the right place to put structure in my life,” he said. “When kids come here, they understand there is a standard here that has to be met. So when you leave here, you leave here on a positive note and take that standard that’s been instilled with you here to make the world a better place. That’s one thing I always say when I talk to anybody about Hinds.

“When I left Hinds and went to a four-year school, I sat in front of the dormitory and cried because of how great it was here. This set my foundation for life,” Crockett said.

Current Athletic Director Nathan Werremeyer introduced the Gene Murphy Commitment to Excellence Award, which will be given annually to a Hinds football player who displays the qualities of character, sportsmanship and hard work that were so important to Coach Murphy.

“You guys have put a foundation in place that’s unbreakable,” he said. “There is a bright future for Hinds athletics. There is a bright future for Hinds Community College, this campus and every campus that we have, because of people like you.”