MEMPHIS – The winningest coach in Memphis football history has finally found his way to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Billy ‘Spook’ Murphy, who spent over 30 years at then Memphis State, first as head coach, winning 91 games over 14 years and then serving as the school’s athletic director, was named Monday as one of 21 inductees in the Class of 2022.
“Our family is humbled and honored as our father, Billy J. Murphy, would be at the news of his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame,” Michael Murphy and Libby Ladyman remarked. “Our father was not only a great coach, but a great man. He loved the University of Memphis, his players, coaches, colleagues, staff and the entire Tiger community. Memphis gave our father his first head coaching job, and he returned their confidence with his loyalty and dedication to the program. Our father once said, he came to Memphis to be a Tiger, to live his life as a Tiger and that he would die a Tiger. That he did. Well-deserved old soldier. God bless you.”
Murphy led the Tigers to their first ever win over an SEC school, beating his alma mater Mississippi State back in 1962.
A year later, he coached the Tigers to their last undefeated season, 9-0-and-1.
“We know that Memphians everywhere will be proud of the legacy earned by Coach Murphy as a football player, coach, administrator and leader,” said Memphis Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Laird Veatch. “I have heard multiple stories from former players, fans and Coach Murphy’s family about the incredible and lasting impact he made on so many Tigers in the Memphis community.”
“We are thrilled to hear about the tremendous honor for Coach Murphy and his family, for him to be named to the College Football Hall of Fame,” Memphis head football coach Ryan Silverfield remarked. “Coach Murphy was an unbelievable leader, mentor and role model not only for the University of Memphis, but for the city and the entire mid-south region. I’m thrilled that he and his family are getting the recognition they so richly deserve.”
Murphy passed away in 2008.