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UWG Family Mourns Loss of Longtime Coach, AD

Ed Murphy Spent 16 years on the West Georgia Staff

CARROLLTON, Ga. – The University of West Georgia family today mourns the death of Ed Murphy. UWG’s longtime athletic director and head men’s basketball coach passed away Sunday, following a period of declining health. Murphy was 78.

Murphy came to West Georgia as head men’s basketball coach in the spring of 1993. He inherited a program at rock bottom, and in his first season led West Georgia to its first NCAA Division II Tournament berth seven years. The 1994 team was the first of seven teams Murphy carried to the NCAA Tournament, The high point came with the 2002 squad that captured the South Region Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the only time in West Georgia’s basketball history.

Murphy’s 14-year coaching record at West Georgia was 273 wins and 138 losses. His teams featured six Gulf South Conference Players of the Year, Five All-America selections, and 25 All-Gulf Conference players. Under Murphy UWG won the 2002 GSC title, and his teams won or shared a league regular season or division title five times.

Beyond his years as basketball coach, Murphy also served almost 15 years (1994-2009) as West Georgia’s athletic director. Beyond his team’s basketball success, Murphy’s tenure as AD also included West Georgia teams winning three conference football titles, and the 1998 baseball team won both the GSC and NCAA South Central Region championship to qualify for the only Division II World Series appearance ever by a West Georgia team.

Before coming to West Georgia Murphy had successful runs at a pair of other Gulf South Conference schools. From 1978-83 he served as basketball coach and AD at West Alabama. Next he moved to Delta State and was the Statesmen’s head coach from 1983 through 1986. After Delta State, Murphy coached at Ole Miss for six seasons, and then worked one year as a TV analyst for Jefferson Pilot and ESPN before coming to West Georgia.

Murphy’s teams won Gulf South Conference titles at each of his stops in the league. His 399 GSC victories is the second highest total in league history. His success led to Murphy’s 2015 induction into the Gulf South Conference Hall of Fame.

Services for Murphy will be conducted Monday at 10:30 from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Carrollton. The wake will be Sunday afternoon from 2:00-5:00 at the Irish Bred Pub in downtown Carrollton.
 

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