WEST VALLEY CITY — Hunter High school announced the hiring of Tim Murphy as its new football coach Friday.
Murphy, a resident of California, was at the helm of Clovis East High School for 10 years. In 15 years as a head coach (also at Ygnacio Valley), Murphy developed a lofty resume, including nine league championships, three undefeated seasons and 12 playoff invitations.
He was awarded an ESPY as Coach of the Year and was appointed coach for the Under Armour National All-Star Game after guiding three teams ranked in the top 50 in the nation, and one that was ranked in the top 25.
"We posted our job opening on national sites and he said that he was interested and decided that he was going to fly out and see what the area was like and what the school was like," said Hunter athletic director Pam Olsen. "He came and interviewed, and he's a great candidate. He's been very successful as a coach."
Murphy replaces Les Hamilton, who resigned after one season to take the Pleasant Grove coaching job earlier this month. The two coaches played each other in 2007. Hamilton, then coaching at Alta, prevailed 28-12 in Las Vegas.
After accepting the position Murphy met with several of his players and spent a lot of time with Hamilton, discussing the program and watching film.
"(Hunter) is a lot like the two other schools I've coached," said Murphy, who will begin teaching on Jan. 17. "I really liked what I saw — the atmosphere, and I really clicked well with the principal, John Welburn."
Murphy brings his avant-garde, double-wing offense to Utah. It's a strangely effective scheme that employs the quarterback as the lead blocker for the ball carrier for the majority of the plays.
The offensive philosophy returns the Hunter program to its run-oriented roots. Last season Hunter converted to the spread with below average results. In 1999 at Ygnacio Valley, Murphy's team ran for a Northern/Central California record 5,019 yards — a record that still stands 12 years later.
He'll be inheriting a program that finished 3-7 last season, however Murphy has a history of rapid turnarounds — boosting Clovis East to an 8-4 record one year removed from a 1-9 season and transforming Ygnacio Valley to 10-1 after a 2-8 mark in his third season.
"He was very energetic and seems very committed to what he does — open to that type of clientele at our school," Olsen said. "He seems very supportive of the kids and he's been very successful in several different school situations. He's got a lot of energy and is very excited."
Murphy has a 9-year-old daughter, Kennedy, and is married to Christy Murphy.