Dec. 6, 2013
SAN ANTONIO, Texas. - Alabama Head Softball Coach Patrick Murphywas enshrined in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame Friday night in a ceremony at the group's annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.
"I am humbled and honored to be included in the NFCA Hall of Fame," said Murphy. "It is an honor I share with my entire Alabama family: our coaching staff, administration, team, managers, trainers and the best fans in college softball."
Entering his 18th season at the Capstone in 2014, Murphy has built a dominant program from scratch, starting as an assistant coach during the program's inaugural 1997 season before taking over as head coach in 1999. Since 1999, Murphy has guided Alabama to 15-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including the program's first NCAA Championship in 2012. It was the first national title for any softball program in the Southeastern Conference.
"Very few coaches have the opportunity to build a program from the ground up, and fewer still take such an opportunity and create the kind of championship tradition that softball enjoys here at the University of Alabama the way Coach Murphy has," UA Director of Athletics Bill Battle said. "We are very proud of everything Patrick has accomplished leading up to this momentous occasion and we are thrilled that he has been officially recognized as the hall of famer we at Alabama have always known him to be." Murphy owns an 817-233 (.778) overall record as a head coach, including 15 seasons at Alabama and one at Northwest Missouri State during the 1995 season. At Alabama, he is 789-213 (.787) with four SEC regular-season titles, four SEC tournament titles and eight Women's College World Series berths. A native of Fayette, Iowa, he started his career as a graduate assistant and later as an assistant coach at Southwestern Louisiana, now Louisiana-Lafayette.
"I would not have made this incredible journey," said Murphy, "without the help of my associate head coach Alyson Habetz, my boss Marie Robbins and all the student-athletes who have ever worn the Alabama jersey. Anyone who has helped Alabama softball along the way is remembered with this recognition Friday night."
Under Murphy, the Alabama coaching staff has been named the South Region Coaching Staff of the Year eight times, including National Coaching Staff of the Year honors following their 2012 National Championship. Crimson Tide players have earned 89 All-American honors, 73 All-South Region honors and 14 Academic All-America honors. The team has won at least 50 games 11 times, including the past nine-straight seasons, which is an SEC record.
In addition to Murphy, long-time coaches Rick Bertagnolli (California University Pennsylvania), Lori Meyer (Minnesota State-Mankato) and Joan Joyce (Florida Atlantic) were also inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining 58 previous inductees.