Gene Murphy
Biographical details
Born(1939-08-06)August 6, 1939
New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedOctober 29, 2011(2011-10-29) (aged 72)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Playing career
1960–1962North Dakota
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1963–1977North Dakota (assistant)
1978–1979North Dakota
1980–1992Cal State Fullerton
Head coaching record
Overall74–96–1 (college)
80–75–2 (junior college)
Tournaments0–1 (NCAA D-II playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
1 NCC (1979)
1 PCAA (1983)

Eugene Vincent Murphy (August 6, 1939 – October 29, 2011) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of North Dakota from 1978 to 1979 and at California State University, Fullerton from 1980 to 1992, compiling a career college football coaching record 74–96–1.

Early years

Born and raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Murphy's father was a football coach.[1] He was an all-state quarterback and shortstop in high school.[2] He initially attended the University of Minnesota, then transferred to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, and played college football as a quarterback for the UND Fighting Sioux from 1960 to 1962.[2][3]


Murphy then moved into an assistant coaching position with the team, where he remained until 1977.[4] Murphy later was the UND head coach in 1978 to 1979.[3] The team went 15–7 in his two seasons, winning the North Central Conference and advancing to the Division II playoffs in 1979.[3][4] He was succeeded at North Dakota by one of his assistants, Pat Behrns.[1]

In 1980, Murphy became head coach at California State University, Fullerton in Orange County.[3] He led the Titans for thirteen years and was their final coach; the program was discontinued after the 1992 season.[5][6][7] The Titans won the Pacific Coast Athletic Association championships in 1983 and 1984.[5][8] The 1984 team was ranked in the National Top 20 and finished 12-0.[5]

His assistants included future National Football League (NFL) head coaches Steve Mariucci, Tom Cable, and Hue Jackson.[3][5][9] Notable former players include Damon Allen, Mike Pringle, Bobby Kemp, Mark Collins, and James Thornton.[9] In 1999, Murphy was inducted into both the University of North Dakota Hall of Fame, and was inducted to the Cal State Fullerton Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.[4][8]

After Cal State Fullerton dropped its football program, Murphy served as head coach at Fullerton College from 1993 to 2007.[4][8] He remained a consultant with the program until his death.[3][9]


Murphy died at age 72 in 2011 at USC Hospital in Los Angeles, four days after surgery for esophageal cancer.[5][8][9] He had seemed to be recuperating from the surgery when he had a heart attack.[1] He was survived by his daughter Aileen, her mother Christine McCarthy, his two adult sons, Tim and Mike, and his four grandchildren.[5] Murphy's funeral service was held at St. Juliana’s Catholic Church. He was buried in Fullerton at Loma Vista Memorial Park.[10]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
North Dakota Fighting Sioux (North Central Conference) (1978–1979)
1978 North Dakota 5–5 3–3 T–3rd
1979 North Dakota 10–2 5–1 1st L NCAA Division II Quarterfinal
North Dakota: 15–7 8–4
Cal State Fullerton Titans (Pacific Coast Athletic Association / Big West Conference) (1980–1992)
1980 Cal State Fullerton 4–7 1–4 T–4th
1981 Cal State Fullerton 3–8 1–4 T–5th
1982 Cal State Fullerton 3–9 0–5 7th
1983 Cal State Fullerton 7–5 5–1 1st L California
1984 Cal State Fullerton 12–0 7–0 1st
1985 Cal State Fullerton 6–5 5–2 2nd
1986 Cal State Fullerton 3–9 2–5 T–6th
1987 Cal State Fullerton 6–6 4–3 T–2nd
1988 Cal State Fullerton 5–6 5–2 2nd
1989 Cal State Fullerton 6–4–1 5–2 T–2nd
1990 Cal State Fullerton 1–11 0–7 8th
1991 Cal State Fullerton 2–9 1–6 8th
1992 Cal State Fullerton 2–9 0–6 7th
Cal State Fullerton: 60–88–1 36–47
Total: 75–95–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ a b c Lee, Steve (October 30, 2011). "From UND to California, everyone knew 'Murph'". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Eugene Vincent Murphy". Home News Tribune. (Somerville, New Jersey). (obituary). November 5, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hajdu, Jayson (October 31, 2011). "Gene Murphy: 1939-2011". University of North Dakota Athletics.
  4. ^ a b c d "Sioux to wear 'Murph' decals on helmets". University of North Dakota Athletics. November 3, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Murphy Services Fill Church and Then Some". Cal State Fullerton Titans. November 7, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  6. ^ "Gene Murphy's law: Former Cal State Fullerton coach had perspective". Los Angeles Times. October 31, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  7. ^ "Gene Murphy | Titan Tribute: Athletics Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2013-01-07. Retrieved 2011-11-02.
  8. ^ a b c d "Funeral services set for football coach Gene Murphy". Los Angeles Times. November 1, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d "Former Cal State Fullerton Coach Gene Murphy Dies - Lake Forest, CA Patch". Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2011-11-02.
  10. ^ Whicker, Mark (November 7, 2011). "Far-flung farewell for Gene Murphy". Orange County Register. Retrieved June 10, 2020.