MBB : Emotional Murphy bids farewell to Boeheim, Syracuse

first_imgFormer Syracuse assistant coach Rob Murphy bid farewell to SU on Tuesday, five days after being introduced as the new head coach at Eastern Michigan.In a press conference inside the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center, Murphy expressed appreciation for the opportunity he was given at SU.‘I just want to thank (head) coach (Jim) Boeheim personally. I’ve had a great…’ Murphy said before pausing for 33 seconds while holding back tears. ‘I’ve had a great, great seven years.’Murphy was introduced as the new head coach at Eastern Michigan last Thursday, after a seven-year stint on Boeheim’s staff. The 38-year-old leaves for his first Division I head coaching position, just 35 miles from his hometown of Detroit.Murphy reflected on his time in Syracuse while at the podium. Not just his time with SU, but also in the community. Syracuse is where he met his wife, TeNesha, and it’s where his two children were born.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs he fought back his emotions, he discussed how his time at Syracuse shaped both his personal and professional life.‘Seven years ago in 2004, when I was awarded this opportunity to take over this assistant coaching position, vacated by Troy Weaver, I didn’t have a lot of experience at the high major level,’ Murphy said. ‘I was a young coach trying to find my way. Coach Boeheim gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.‘I’m extremely, extremely happy where my career has gone, and a big part of my career has come from Syracuse and head coach Jim Boeheim.’Murphy now takes on the difficult task of turning things around at Eastern Michigan, a school that has not made an NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998. The Eagles finished with a record of just 9-22 this past season.Boeheim said he has no doubt Murphy is ready for the challenge.‘This is a sad day for me,’ Boeheim said at the press conference. ‘Rob has been just an unbelievable coach here for us. What he’s done is as good as anything anybody’s ever done here, and we’ve had a lot of great assistant coaches. He’s ready to be a head coach.‘He’s going to be a tremendous head coach.’In his only other experience as a head coach, albeit at the high school level, Murphy led Detroit’s Crockett Technical to the Class B state title in 2001. From there, he spent two seasons as an assistant at Kent State before coming to Syracuse.During his time at Syracuse, Murphy played a big role in the recruitment of several key players, such as Donte Greene, Wes Johnson and Kris Joseph.Joseph and teammate C.J. Fair attended the press conference in support of their former coach. When it was all over, Joseph took to Twitter to publicly thank the man who played perhaps the biggest role in his recruitment.Former Syracuse point guard Adrian Autry, an assistant at Virginia Tech, is expected to replace Murphy. An official announcement is expected sometime this week.Murphy said he and Boeheim have already had discussions about setting up a game inside the Carrier Dome between SU and Eastern Michigan. It could happen as soon as this season, Murphy said.Boeheim joked that the matchup between the two teams will happen early in Murphy’s career, before Murphy is able to work his magic at his new program.But until then, Murphy’s focus will be on getting things in order at Eastern Michigan. He acknowledged he has some work to do and is eager to dive right in.‘Get that program back to winning and what’s expected,’ Murphy said. ‘That’s my focus now.’[email protected] Published on April 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img

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