Connecticut High School Football

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End of an Era at Masuk: John Murphy steps down

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Masuk coach John Murphy holds up the championship trophy after his team won the Class L football championship at Rentschler Field in East Hartford on December 11, 2010.

John Murphy, the most successful coach in Masuk and SWC football history, is calling it a career at football program he turned into a state powerhouse.

Murphy’s name annually comes up as a candidate to coach elsewhere. Yet he spent 15 years in Monroe, won 159 games, six SWC championships and three state championships.

This time it’s for real.

He informed the team of his decision after school Tuesday afternoon.

“This is what best for me and my family,” said Murphy, 45. “I think I’ve done everything I can do here. There are things up here that I can’t control, things that don’t see changing and after 16 years of a lot of memories, I think it’s time to see if there are other opportunities.”

A 1985 St. Joseph graduate who played for Christy Hayes in the 1980s, Murphy spent five years with Bob Zito at Newtown and helped that program win three league titles and two state championships from 1991-1996.

In 1997, Masuk athletic director Dave Strong brought the 29-year old down Route 34 to take over the rival program from departing coach Dave Dunn in 1997, a mere season after the Panthers played in the Class L semifinals.

“Dave Strong gave me a chance,” Murphy said. “And I’ll always appreciative for that. It worked out perfect.”

Though Masuk had been to the state playoffs the year before, winning just didn’t happen all that often. When Murphy asked in his first meeting with the team if the starters could raise their hands, “Only one hand went up,” Murphy said. “And I said to myself, Oh boy.”

“I’d been at St. Joseph where we won a bunch of titles, we won one in baseball, and then we won a few at Newtown,” Murphy said. “And I told them in that meeting that only goal was the state championship. They kinda looked around at me like I was nuts.”

Admittedly, Murphy might have went a tad overboard his first year. He conducted relatively long, four-hour practices  Masuk went 6-5 in his first campaign.

Murphy watches his team perform during the 2011 season. He stepped down as the teams football coach Tuesday.

“I was just a kid,” he said. “I thought I knew everything. Turns out I knew nothing.”

But the next season, Murphy took the school to new heights.

Masuk won the SWC championship and upset Fitch 18-12 in the Class L championship game, the school’s first state title. Before playing the Falcons, one Fitch captain told Connecticut Post’s David Agostino he couldn’t find Monroe if he drove through it.”

“That was such a magical night,” Murphy said. “The kids bought into it. We had a great offseason. I keep in touch with all of those guys. They were a special team.”

Thus began a run of dominance unmatched by any SWC program during his tenure and topped by only a handful of state programs. Of active state coaches, only Ansonia’s Tom Brockett and Middletown’s Sal Morello win more often than Murphy has.

Masuk became known for its aggressive style and its confident, often brash demeanor that rankled some opponents.

Others, like Bunnell’s Craig Bruno, said Murphy’s Masuk teams made the SWC league better.

“He was absolutely a class act who was an incredible football coach,” said Bruno, whose program had the most success against Masuk over the years. “He will be missed greatly by Masuk, by the community of Monroe. I enjoyed competing against his teams. They were always prepared. They always played hard.”

The formula worked. Masuk went 158-33-1 and reached the state playoffs 12 times in 16 years. His teams won six SWC championships and three state championships in seven appearances.

Strictly a Wing-T team in his early seasons (the offense he coached at St. Joseph and Newtown), Masuk was one of the first Connecticut to embrace a strictly spread offensive philosophy. Murphy installed it not long after losing to Jude Kelly and pass-happy Southington 48-41 in the 1999 Class LL semifinals.

“Offensively, that took on as much of my personality as anything,” Murphy said. “The first time laid eyes on it. I said to myself, ‘That’s where we’re headed. That’s what we needed to get to.’ We wanted to get out and score quick and and put ball in the air.

“When Southington beat us in 1999, I was sold from that point on. We took it and ran from there. It kind of did take on my personality. I’d rather score in two plays, rather than a 15-plays clock-eating drive. I wanted to make it fun. You put in so much hard work if you don’t have fun, what are you doing?”

Masuk certainly had fun. His teams never had a losing season and won 10 or more games 10 times. Murphy’s worst records was 6-5, his first season.

Yet, after 1998, it took awhile for Murphy to win his second title. Masuk lost four consecutive championships in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007 before finally breaking the spell in 2008 when it crushed Newington 56-13 in the Class L final.

“To finally get that one in 08, for me, was a giant relief,” Murphy said. “We used all of those other losses to teach the kids to keep working. that your hard work will eventually pay off.”

John Murphy sits atop scaffolding and watches his offense in action during a practice in August. Murphy established Masuk as a state powerhouse, winning 158 games and three state titles in 16 years.

Murphy’s best season was one of his last.

A year after missing the 2009 playoffs at 9-2, Masuk returned with a vengeance in 2010 behind two-time Gatorade Player of the Year and quarterback Casey Cochran, who had transferred in the season before, and an talented, established upperclass that included WR/DB Jon Testani, WR Joe Diaz, RB Colin Markus, DE Jeff Wright and LB Shawn Flynn.

Masuk went 13-0, the schools first unbeaten season, tying school records for wins and setting records for points scored and points allowed. Masuk hammered every team in its path, including Newtown and FCIAC champion Darien and New Canaan, en route to a Class L championship.

Masuk defeated four-time defending champion New Canaan 50-20 in the Class L championship game. It was edged for No. 1 in the final state writers’ poll by Xavier.

“I think that (championship) over a storied program like New Canaan finally said we’re as legit as anyone else,” Murphy said.

Masuk went 22-3 in Murphy’s final two seasons, losing to Hand in the Class L semifinals in back-to-back seasons.

Murphy coached at St. Joseph in the late 1980s. In 1991 he joined Bob Zito’s new staff at Newtown and helped the Indians win three league titles and one state championships in 1992.

“I love the school so much,” Murphy said. “I’ve built a lot of great relationships and a lot of great people have helped over the years. It’s always been, to me, about proving something and, for these guys, I would tell them from beginning this is supposed to be fun, most fun you can have is go out and win.”

Now, he says, it’s time to move on.

“In the past, I’d always be looking for other jobs and now I just know this is the right time to see other opportunities elsewhere, other coaching jobs,” Murphy said. “I still have a great passion, a great love of coaching and love of game. I still get excited on game day and I still love going to practice and watching film. We’ll see if another opportunity comes up.”

Sean Patrick Bowley

112 Responses

  1. BHSFAN says:

    Say what you will about some of Coach Murphy’s in-game antics, he has compiled an obviously terrific record of achievement, his players appreciate him and he inspires kids to join the program.

    Sean, any idea where he may end up? Rumor has it that he is interested in the New Milford vacancy.

  2. @BHSFAN – Didn’t say. He doesn’t know yet.

  3. Valley Time says:

    SHELTON – He knows.

  4. SJ Alum says:

    Hey Murph! Congrats, always followed your achievements. Best of luck turning your next team into a powerhouse! ’84

  5. Elliot says:

    Watch him end up at Shelton, mark my word. Inside Source.

  6. No Ax to Grind says:

    Good Coach…GREAT motivator.

    Like it or not, over the past decade Masuk is one of the top 5 programs in the State, and that is ALL due to Murphy.

    He will be very hard to replace.

  7. John Flynn says:

    St.Joes, Immacualte, Mew Milford, Notre dame FFLD, Shelton top 5

  8. bristol rises says:

    Shelton job is not open. Central is.

  9. Wave99 says:

    Great legacy of winning football left behind. Great job by Murph, outstanding record. To have his worst record in 16 years be 6-5 says something about him as a coach and the program. I doubt he is intersted in coming to the Green Wave though. I am sure he is use to a program that gets some support from the AD, Admin, and Town. NM gets none of those things, coach left to do all he can on his own.. which is why NM coach left after 10 years and his BEST season was 6-5. Would love to have Murph up here, but why would he come to a program where the JV and Frosh teams both went winless this past season. Would be great for SWC though, to have the only other LL team be a winning program.

  10. No Ax to Grind says:

    @bristol rises…Shelton is turning into a train wreck. Roy has lost those kids. Half of them skip the off season conditioning and miss practice during the season…and still start. The players have no respect for the coach…or staff. That said, the AD Niski is too gutless to make a change there.

    And almost ANY job is open when a guy like Murphy is available. There are only a handful of guys that are that safe that the AD won’t talk to Murphy to guage his interest.

  11. Big johnson says:

    Coach Murphy,
    Shelton would welcome you with OPEN ARMS.Time for a change in culture here.

  12. Big johnson says:

    @Ax,Shelton is already a train wreck…No disipline no fundamentals and no work ethic….Murphy is exactly what the Dr ordered.

  13. HSFAN says:

    My son is going into his last year and will miss coach Murphy very much.He will be missed by all he had a great run and the kids bought into his program.Where ever he goes next will find out what it is to win.THANKS COACH FOR EVERYTHING YOU WILL BE HARD TO REPLACE.Good luck to you and family.GOD BLESS

  14. Fred G Sanford says:

    Coach Murphy was born and raised in Shelton. Shelton would be a great fit for him and the Gaels. Coach Roy is a good man who might wish to hand over the reigns or share the controls for a year prior prior to letting Murph take over the show.

    For you big dummies (Monroevian) that were bashing Murph for the Newtown game, you deserve what you got. Coach Tynan might be available? LOL.

    Fred

  15. GHS1973 says:

    @Fred…Tiny wouldn’t be a bad choice…I believe he lives in Monroe, and would probably love to get a hold of those players…Loyalty rules though, unless trunped with money, and commute time…

    I’d love to see Murphy at GHS…Coach Al is not getting any younger, and has carried on Coach Ornato’s legacy well..Interesting to see what the Irishman could do with lots of talent…

  16. Christy Fan says:

    Give Steve Christy a chance. He has taken his youth football team to 4 consecutive New England championships, runs the spread offense like no other, lives in Monroe and can coach his current kids in High School. Why not?

  17. NickBac says:

    Murph obviously has great credentials for wherever he decides to go. Went about a lot of things extremely wrong and if the right coach is hired he will not be missed as much as people think. I of course wish him luck.
    Pertaining to the vacancy of the head coaching job at MHS there are a couple of coaches that can be very important to the success of MHS. Steve Christy is a great coach and a great football mind. Not much would change if hired he would step right in with instant success. Wouldn’t mind seeing the guys at Masuk go a younger route and look at an up and coming coach around the swc.. **cough cough Weston

  18. NotYouthFootball says:

    Best wishes to Coach Murph on his next steps.

    @NickBac Great credentials for sure, but you are right. Won’t be missed as many people think.

    Lato of Weston is an obvious choice.

    I would disagree about Christy though, High School ball is more than just running plays all practice. Great coach at the youth level, not sure he is the right fit for HS. He did have a short stint at Stratford and Masuk Freshman if I remember correctly.

    Either way I am sure Masuk will choose a great candidate especially with Principle Kobza in the process (hopefully).

  19. GHS1973 says:

    I don’t know this Murphy, from all the others, but some one has to succeed Coach AL…Murphy’s record stands for itself it seems to me…Can he develope the right youngster talent?, I think so…Can he keep up the legacy in GHS Football?…I think he’ll try his best so, yes…Is he the right fit to take a step up to Greenwich High?…Who knows?, but I believe it, given fair acceptance from the status quo…

    Coach Al, great guy that he is, gotta step down sooner or later, and enjoy the rest of his life…He knows he will always be loved…Gotta get a new coach one of these days, and maybe younger blood from out of the conference & clique is just what we need…

  20. NickBac says:

    Just to be clear Lato is not the Weston coach I have previously mentioned, someone else on the current staff can do damage with masuk. Also coaching is coaching not much separates youth from highschool, freshmen from varsity Christy has been a great coach throughout his career and his breif stint at stratford @NotYouthFootball mentioned was when stratford was at their best with shawn Young i believe as well as torrey mack, dont think for a second that christy was not influential in the around his time.

  21. Fred G Sanford says:

    Masuk folks:

    You will now know what you had now that it’s lost. There are a good half dozen special coaches in the State and you had one of them. The results of what I mention surely speak for themselves. If y’all think you are going to replace what you had, then you must think you are going to land a Sean Marinan or Marce Petroccio.

    Wake up folks. It’s not getting better than what you had.

    Fred

  22. Christy Fan says:

    @NotYouthFootball – Respectfully disagree regarding your opinion of Steve Christy. I’ve seen first hand how this guy conneects with the kids and helps them maximize thier potential. I’ve played football all my life (youth, HS and 1AA college)and even coached high school myself but I can honestly say that I have never seen a coach connect with the kids and the game the way Christy does. It’s nothing like I have ever experienced before. The way his 7th graders execute the spread is mind blowing and I could only imagine what he could do at Masuk if given the chance. Not to give him consideration would be a misake.

  23. mike bolton says:

    If Dan Donovan is doing his job as athletic dir. at Danbury High school and not also looking at the football program as its head coach he will step down as coach and hire Coach Murphy A.S.A.P wha he could do at DHS would be magical with the amount of untapped talent at the school…

  24. ibleedblue says:

    Good luck to Coach Murphy wherever he goes. He built the Masuk program into a force to be reckoned with. He sure would look good in Orange and Black. For being the biggest school in the Valley, Shelton’s football program does not reflect that fact. Coach Roy is a nice person but ………..

  25. ct dude says:

    **cough cough…you can have him

  26. RAY BROWN says:

    POSSIBILITY OF MASUK-ANSONIA MATCHUP NEXT YEAR WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO RE-SIGN

  27. dhsfan says:

    I liked to see him at Danbury High School!!

  28. Jarrod says:

    All that said, I would bet that most Fitch players still wouldn’t know Monroe if they were driving through it…..just saying.

  29. cthsfbfan says:

    Wow. I have really enjoyed watching Masuk under Coach Murphy. He runs an excellent operation from practice to playoffs. Perhaps playing so many home games on the road and not having anyone push to get a playable field for one of the top teams in the state encouraged him to move on. The crowd at the Newtown game this year was really not into the game. They have been spoiled by the team’s success in the past few years. Regardless, I’m convinced that the 2010 team was his best – and the best in the state that year (having seen both Masuk and Xavier more than once each). In any case, it has been a pleasure to watch him create teams that were fun to watch,creative, disciplined and spirited. Best wishes to both Coach Murph and the guys from Masuk who will try to start a new era next year!

  30. Cutler's World says:

    First and foremost much respect goes out to Coach Murphy as a great football coach. Coming from Newtown I have the utmost respect for how he established and maintained the Masuk program as not only the class of the SWC, but among the state’s elite as well. I would also like to address any negative criticisms about Coach Murphy that have arisen over the years which I find to be quite troubling and somewhat absurd. What I think Masuk players/fans fail to realize is the fact Murphy took a talent pool at Masuk that is NOT head and shoulders above every other team in the SWC and made them into that. I’m saying that Murphy took players from Monroe that have the same size/speed as players from any other town in the SWC and allowed them an opportunity to compete for championships year in and year out, something every team in the league aspires to attain. Masuk has never been equipped with a Mark Harrison, a Torrey Mack or other physically imposing figures (excluding Paul Fenaroli who is an absolute monstrosity), yet Murphy plugged average players into his system which allowed them to flourish and succeed. Despite their successes (which Murphy is largely responsible for), it appears to me that these same players have the audacity to turn around and criticize him.. For what? Every year you had a legitimate chance to play for championships under Murphy, an opportunity that players from other towns/teams would openly accept and appreciate. With his absence, the town of Monroe will finally realize what he provided to them in his 15 years of service. In the meantime, the SWC crown will continue to reside a short drive down 34 in Newtown for a handful of years while Masuk continues to pick up the pieces following the complete domination that was November 21st 2012.

  31. NickBac says:

    To be honest @cutlersWorld your wrong. although i cannot disagree to the point that coach murph did a great job with Masuk it is ignorant to overlook the success of monroe youth football. there is a direct correlation with the Monroe pop warner and now Ayf football and Masuk football success. I have been around the program throughout all its success and to say average players were plugged into this system is simply a slap in the face. I agree there were no Mark harrisons but there were teams full of players more than capable of moving onto the next level.

  32. andy says:

    wouldn’t be surprised if he landed at trinity. Any where he would be able to hold a teaching position is going to be crucial in his next hire.

  33. the ruler says:

    Danbury,wishfull thinking.

  34. Football Fan says:

    Hamden

  35. MHS says:

    Good luck Coach in whatever direction you may take. Guy didn’t just coach a team. Turned the football program at Masuk into a tradition and family. Coached me years back and had the opportunity to coach with him briefly. I believe besides the seniors in his first year with the program, if you were to play under him for 4 years you would have played on a team that made a State Championship appearance or won one. Says something about what he was selling.

  36. Not Sure says:

    I am not sure Murphy has his teaching certificate. Murphy did a great job at Masuk, he was dedicated, committed, passionate. There are people who know football out there but getting to know the kids on the team and creating the right climate and culture can be challenging. Those kids want to play football up at Masuk and to respond to post #31, I agree. Those teams are good every year and from past results there are some good players moving up to Masuk.

  37. tj says:

    Cutters World – I agree with the majority of your argument. Some towns are soccer towns, others lacrosse – Masuk is a football town. That passion is part of the equation. However, I agree that Coach Murphy is special.

    Coach Murphy is that SOB general: loved by his players, respected by the parents and administration, who opponents feared. Through his vision and tireless efforts he created a program that the school and the community is extremely proud of.

    Coach Murphy’s greatest legacy is that he provided a home for so many kids that were cut from other sports, previously quit or who had just lost their way. They were all welcomed. If you came to practice you were provided a jersey come game day. That inclusion, to be part of team made all the difference in so many students lives.

    Thank you Coach, we’ll miss you.

  38. Pardits says:

    O’Brein Tech!!

  39. Rob says:

    Murphy’s success at Masuk speaks for itself. Over the last decade, there is no question they have been one of the premier programs in the state. Murphy and Masuk also had their fair share of detractors and haters, which becomes inevitable when winning consistently.

    I see a alot of speculation being thrown around about where Murphy may coach next. Shelton is the most interesting to me.

    In college, “big name” programs that have had a few mediocre seasons in a row will often try to right the ship by bringing in a high profile coach with a great track record of success. But they do this by throwing tons of money at him. In the case of CT high school, schools do not do this. I know not every head coach is paid exactly the same, but the differences are not that great. So what would make Murphy leave Masuk and go coach Shelton? Or anywhere else for that matter?

  40. Brian says:

    Murphy does not have his teaching certification nor a college degree. That is what kept him from getting the ND-Fairfield job a couple of years ago.

  41. CTdude says:

    Nickbac…thought you meant someone else…you are right, the coach you are alluding to IS an up n comer…HE gets it.

    Excellent pedigree also!

  42. jeb says:

    So enjoyed watching Murphy’s Masuk teams….He will be missed by all who enjoy high school football.

  43. bristol rises says:

    @SPB, did Cheshire renew the interim coach’s contract? If not, put the Rams on the list of suitors.

  44. c-o-n-spiracy says:

    @nicbac ‘Went about a lot of things extremely wrong’ is quite a statement. And yes I agree that Lato might be tempted to go back to Masuk.

  45. Justin Williams says:

    I’ve played with both Dunn and Murphy a Senior in ’98 state champs.
    He was a great coach and will be missed.

    Best of Luck.
    ~Justin `98 #32

  46. No Ax to Grind says:

    I wish that he would land at Shelton…but I don’t see that happening. The AD is gutless and lazy. No chance that he makes a move. Plus they won’t offer him a teaching job. They have lost other good canidates for other sports that hinged on teaching jobs and they wouldn’t do it. The program would have to completely collapse for him to fire Roy…it’s close, but not there yet. Great fit, but won’t happen.

    I think he ends up at St. Joe’s…

    The best choice for Masuk is Baccarella from Weston. Lots of Monroe ties…knows the kids…the kids know him. Maybe he adds Christy to his staff, but I would be surprised if it he isn’t named in the next couple of weeks.

  47. ciacfollower says:

    Yeah, yeah, coach Murphy’s an obviously talented coach but whats the real dirt on why he’s leaving ? Was/is it down to $$ ? Did i read awhile back about a riff between Jack Cochran & Masuk Football ? There must be a key issue here that i havnt picked up in these previous responses. Issues like these usually surface sooner in blogs like this, anybody out there ?

  48. Supporter says:

    Who cares if he has a teaching certificate or not, a college degree or not. We are talking about a man that gave up 16 years of his life and put everything in building a program. He did an outstanding job, not only building a program but molding boys into young adults. Masuk will never be the same. Sometimes you don’t realize how good you have it until its gone. Masuk is in for a rude awakening. It would have been nice if the AD and administration respected him enough and looked at his accomplishments and made it desirable to stay in Monroe and grow old, like Marinelli in NC.
    Oh- one more thing, remember what we are told at a young age, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then say nothing at all.

  49. MHSalum says:

    Shelton or central.

  50. WCC of Old says:

    A lot of the schools districts now require head coachs to be a certified teacher and some go as far as the teacher needs to teach within the system. And some schools, well pulse! Murphy having a degree or not, he is one of the best in the state any school would be luckey to have him as head of the foot ball program.

  51. Dr. Von Nostran says:

    The “Ansonia plays nobody” argument may fall by the wayside very quickly if a Murphy lead Bridgeport Central team were added to the schedule every year. Couple that with SWC crossover games then outsiders would have a much better measuring stick.

  52. help! says:

    Dear No Axe,
    The best choice for Masuk is a coach with 1 year of experience as a position coach at Weston High School? That is awesome.

  53. dave k says:

    I believe coach Murphy held a full time position at masuk besides football coach. Prior to that he worked in the Shelton community center and ran rec programs. Just saying that Shelton could find a full time position for him if he was hired as football coach. Although I agree with no ax in that Shelton would not let a home grown coach go just based on w/l’s. Case in point is the basketball program.

  54. Master Legend says:

    Sucks that Stokes resigned same day as Murphy.

    Murphy resigns: 51 comments
    Stokes resigns: 0 comments

  55. guy says:

    In other States a good portion of the coaches are outside of the school system. They run it like small college program Ct needs to step
    up with that.

  56. SWC fanatic says:

    Steve Christy is an excellent coach, if he can get 7th graders to learn and execute the spread that well. He’s very focused but keeps the game in perspective. It’s still a game to him…

  57. Paul says:

    Ax-How do you real feel about AD Niski?Geez…I guess he is not on your Xmas list this year.I thought football and baseball were the only stable programs at Shelton?

  58. @Master – I was going to say that post was a repost of Dave’s ‘overtime’ space, and probably got comments there. But, you’re right on that, too.

    Funny, the Stokes report came minutes before Murphy called to confirm.

    Murphy: “What? Pete Stokes trying to steal my thunder?”

    I said it was the other way around.

  59. NickBac says:

    Sorry @help but he is not a position coach with 1 year of experience the kid being my brother or not was the defensive coordinator and studied under one of the best high-school football coaches out. He is exactly what has been lacking at masuk all these years. A player first coach who cares about these students future which is most important even more important than winning. You want to talk about success with a lack of talent look no further than what those guys did at weston over the past few years. Like many people say the numbers do not lie since Anthony Bacarella was on the staff they have had the most success in school history making the playoffs for the first time since 86 i believe and having their first playoff win ever. A few bad bounces away from a state championship appearance. Don’t come onto the blog and state things you have no idea about.. Sorry for the rant to everyone else on here.

  60. Not Sure says:

    Supporter,

    I agree with you and what Murphy did for Monroe. Masuk and the players there. All I was eluding to is the state rules about hiring head coaches – they must be a certified teacher or have their 5 year coaching certificate. If there is a teaching position in the school it makes it much easier to hire a coach and a teacher as opposed to just a coach. Working and coaching at different schools can be tough. I agree that coach Murphy will end up somewhere – he is too good of a coach not to. Maybe HS or maybe as a coordinator in a small college somewhere. We will all just have to wait and see.

    If a HS wants him as a coach they will find a job for him in their district – period.

  61. SCC says:

    Read between the lines. Figure it out. Too much bull*** from the Administration & A.D. No Support. He was targeted. His position was eliminated. The question is why was he Pushed Out ?

  62. help! says:

    oh, let me rephrase, the best choice for Masuk is a d coordinator with 1 year of experience from Weston?

  63. Facility says:

    Until Masuk upgrades their field and facilities they’re going to have trouble maintaining a winning program without Murph. It’s a joke that they have to play important games at Bunnell because the grass field at Masuk is a piece of crap.

  64. Not Sure says:

    His position within the school was eliminated?

  65. old timer says:

    masuk needs a big hire. chris anderson unh’s oc would be a slam dunk. great job by murph; incredible record, and a great job with his kids in an overall sense. wish him the best; he’ll win where ever he ends up!

  66. Monroecoach says:

    At the end of the day, murph did what was right for the kids, won football games and helped his players get into college. People bash him because he was successful. I know he turned down offers to join Coach Dunn’s staff at Catholic University to remain at Masuk, so he was loyal to the school and the students for 16 years. He will land on his feet, he is too good of a coach not to.

  67. Masuk Fan says:

    Sean, the Bacarella brothers forget there are several defensive coordinators in Masuk, the first being Chris Gueli who was the d-coordinator for Murphy and the kids love him.
    Any word on him being the admins. choice?

  68. Elliot says:

    Murphy is a full-time paraprofessional at Masuk. Requires no college education. Murphy is respected by administration and EVERYONE in the community? You got your facts wrong. Look beyond the football field to get his REAL reputation in Monroe.

  69. Master Legend says:

    @NickBac- I’m sure a guy posting on a blog using the same (at least very similar) last name as the coach that he feels should be hired has an unbiased view of the situation. Tell your brother (or cousin or whoever relation he is to you) that I said good luck!

    High school coaches can not be expected to turn a failing program around in less than 3 years so there isn’t a lot of pressure on guys who take jobs like Bassick and New Milford. But in a place like Masuk with a great youth program, great community support and a winning history, the pressure is enormous. If a guy comes in and doesn’t deliver what the people of Monroe are used to, the criticism he’ll hear is not worth the meager stipend CT coaches make. Hence the lack of “big name” coaches being thrown around.

  70. Frank Football says:

    Bridgeport schools are not coming in the NVl. But I heard the SWC and NVL are looking a potential merger for Football only.

  71. Monroecoach says:

    Having youth football ties or even Monroe ties is over-rated. Murph came from Newtown, grew up in Shelton and went to St.Joes. Dunn came from the college ranks and grew up in Trumbull. Neither had any ties to Monroe or Monroe youth football and they both won. Just hire the best coach avaiable.

  72. bristol rises says:

    Are we giving Murphy too much credit for Masuk success? It’s not like they were some league doormat before he got the job. Masuk was always good when Dom Quinto was there and Dave Dunn. What’s really changed? Outside of some sporadic sucess of ND-Fair, Pomperaug, and Bunnell, that league has always come down to Masuk and Newtown.

    I’d argue that Murphy took over pretty established program with school and community support firmly in place.

    Look at what Marinelli and Marce Petroccio had at NC and Staples when they took those jobs. True program builders. Murphy? Not so much.

    A little reality fellas….

  73. No Ax to Grind says:

    @help! Yes…I think that he would be a great choice….Like I said, has great ties to the community…is an excellent young up and comer…knows the players and the local youth coaches. I think he is a great fit. And your choice is?? Or are we just throwing stones without any knowledge of who a good fit would be?

    @Paul…Excellent Baseball program. The football program has been in a slow decline the last couple of years. No dicipline or accountabilty demanded from the players which has lead to a complete lack of respect for the coaches. Last year bad..This year was a mess…it is going to get worse…just watch. It is time for a change up there…but like I said…the AD is useless. Nothing will change.

  74. futbol says:

    What is this turning into? An NFL coaching carousel? Please people this is CONNECTICUT football. The only state in America until recently to have six state champions, which was so unnecessary. I mean honestly, can anyone name 10 people in the last 10 years that have a relevant tie to the NFL? This is not Texas, Cali, or FL. People are taking this way too seriously.

  75. Monroefan says:

    I think that the bottom line is that Coach Murphy has done very well at Masuk but this must be tempered by the conference that Masuk plays in. Having watched Masuk for 10 years, they are very good. But going to games is bluntly boring. The quality of football is subpar and games usually decided by halftime. I’d much rather watch an SCC or FCIAC matchup. Masuk is always competitive, but can’t be considered with Hand, Xavier, Staples, and other programs that compete week in and out. Also, a program should be defined on sending players to the next level. Unfortunately, Murphy didn’t seem to accomplish this.

  76. help! says:

    anyone else want to endorse a family member or pop warner coach for this job?

  77. No Ax to Grind says:

    @futbol…”People are taking this way to seriously” says the guy reading and posting on the blog…lol…”Hello Pot, has anyone seen my kettle…it’s black”….LOL…I love hypocrits…they always look so foolish…Thanks for the laugh.

  78. Masuk fan says:

    #72 (bristolrises) – Before Murphy got to Masuk, the team had made 2 finals appearances and lost both. Under Murphy, Masuk went to 7 finals and won 3 titles. Masuk may have been a “pretty established program” in the WCC/SWC, but Murphy absolutely took the program to another level. The reality is that he absolutely was a program builder at Masuk…158-33-1 in 16 years is outstanding and lights year better than where the team had been prior to his hiring.

  79. md says:

    @futbol…..it has nothing to do with naming people in the NFL, we know this is just CT football however, HS football, no matter what state it is in is not just about football, it is about helping kids become young men. HS football coaches have the potential to be a very big influence on a mans life. Grown men, as pathetic as it may sound, often reflect on their days playing HS football. Many things go into playing football at any level including teamwork, dedication, honesty and hard work. These are all things that I know were taught to these kids at Masuk. So in my opinion, choosing a head coach is very important because you want someone in there who will preach and practice all of these lessons to help these young men can become productive people in society.

  80. tbart19 says:

    Best of luck to Coach Murphy & thanks for all you have done for the program. Nice to see buddy Chris G get a shoutout from @MasukFan in post 67 but he might be too busy golfing! And as an aside, @WCCofOld (post #50) has the best user name on here.

    Next August can’t get here soon enough

  81. Cutler's World says:

    @NickBac Your assessment of my comment is asinine and I would ask you to reconsider before calling any part of it ignorant or classifying it as wrong. Calling Masuk players system players under Murphy is exactly what I’m doing and if you see that as a slap in the face, then maybe that’s what you need to realize your subjective opinions on your own former coach/program. All these state championships under Murphy, however, have any Masuk players (again other than the mountain that is Paul Fenaroli)gone onto play football at a high level in college? None.. Which shows that Masuk players have long benefited from a system that they were blessed to be installed in. And no, I’m not using youth football as a judge of talent for HS, as many kids don’t even bother playing youth football and players grow substantially physically AND mentally in high school ball. This makes youth football carry little relevance when relating it to the high school level in my own opinion. As a side note, saying Murphy went about ‘alot of things extremely wrong’ and then using this blog as a way to promote your own brother as a coach makes your opinions carry little to no credibility as far as I’m concerned.. “To be honest”

  82. Elliot says:

    Amen to Cutler’s World.

  83. Not Sure says:

    Murphy did a great job as a coach, was he helped with a good feeder program??? it can’t hurt. I believe that many teams in the youth program installed murphys O to help build consistancy. The issue here is finding the right coach for Masuk. Coaching HS is also about academics, communication and helping kids further that education in college. I am sure there are a lot of HS coaches out there that would like to coach in Monroe – history, success, support, passion it’s all there.

    Should be interesting in the coming weeks.

  84. rnhart3 says:

    Chris G. would be a good choice if he can put the 9 iron down…how ’bout Scarp?
    This doesn’t have to be the end of the world…

  85. Monroefan says:

    Cutler’s World. I think you hit it right on the head but maybe not in the context that I come from. I am not talking about major D1 talent. I am talking about promoting kids to play at solid D1AA programs or great D2 or D3 programs. Masuk was not successful merely because of a coach. They had talent. Note that Cochran was key to the success of a team for 3 years and he was “brought in”. He is not homegrown. I am not knocking Murphy as a coach nor his system. But success is not just wins/losses – it is promoting your players. I know of many solid players who never played after high school – and that is a shame. Also, Masuk’s 2010 team was arguably the best in the state. Would this have been the case without Cochran? I just don’t think so. Any future and desiring football player that has superior ability needs to look outside of Masuk to compete in a reputable leage. The SWC doesn’t get it done. It is boring. CT football may not be optimal, but other leagues in the state have teams that compete week in and week out. You can’t be considered elite until you play in an elite conference. I don’t buy the “system” argument. A team can run 5 plays and if everyone does their job, they will score. Talent like Cochran and Milone doesn’t come around often. If he stayed, his true test would have been how Masuk faired over the next few years.

  86. Alex says:

    I have great respect for anyone with such influence, respect and success as Coach Murphy. However…. I sure would love to see all of this sporting passion funneled into ALL of the sports at Masuk. Monroe / Masuk is relatively uncompetitive in just too many sports. Let’s use this transition to focus on recruiting and retaining exceptional coaches in more and more Masuk sports and increase the support of the many town youth development sport programs.

  87. Mama Bac 30/20/34 says:

    My son might be quite outspoken ( love that about him ), he also knows of what he blogs, and he at least has the balls to put himself out there and not hide behind masks. My son Anthony, has not played into these blogs, (not his style), he is extremely busy finishing his masters program at Ffld U, to become a Guidance counselor. He has worked under the guidance of two of his mentors, first his father,they took their youth program to Florida 3 years in a row. And now Coach Joe Lato, whom he has looked up to for years. I will no longer sit quietly while reading these blogs. For those of you who know not what you speak of, Please Dont, Anthony had no thoughts of applying for the job, but now…..

  88. thnxforthehaha says:

    Mama Bac 30/20/34 internet gold. But now what??? This kid has zero experience and you and your other son should stop embarrassing him by even bringing him up about this job.

  89. Drama says:

    what a loser

  90. Most of the people blogging here look only at wins and losses, and don’t know anything else about what goes on with Masuk team. Murph had a great record with that ( wins,not too sure about the rest of his reputation and rumors ). ), However, I think any of the assistants, a few of the youth coaches in Monroe, all would have had the same success as Murph. The talent was there, especially 2010, would have won with defense alone. I think any of the mentioned coaches will do just fine. Murph has been wanting to leave for awhile now, so long overdue, should have left some years ago. Masuk will do just as well in the long run without him.

  91. Reggie Palmer says:

    @ Mama Bac
    Welcome to the blog assuming you are new – or have you been lurking for a while? By all accounts, helicopter parents appear to be an under-represented demographic here so you’ll be a valuable addition. Can’t wait to for you to weigh in on the important matters that we routinely discuss such as the conference flame wars, the ‘Soccer mom’ sports mentality, everyone vs. RAY BROWN, etc.

  92. lovingmasuk says:

    Wondering why no mention of Masuk assistant Eric Giordano (Coach G), the O-Line coach. He’s been with the program for years, and is even a Masuk graduate. Let’s face it, Casey Cochran is a great QB, but an even better QB behind a great line. And it’s the line that makes the holes for the Milones and Marcuses. “G” is probably the toughest coach in the group, but most of his kids would jump in front of a bus for him. Great guy, coached my sons. Takes a great interest in the players on and off the field. I would think/hope they’d look inside first – someone mentioned Gueli before – before going outside the program. Lots of talent right there!

  93. eyespy says:

    Just saw Murph at a Shelton coffee shop- with a guy with a tie on- maybe the pricipal offering him the football job?? Heard he was in Stratford last night and made stops at Bunnell and Stratford on his way home- heard he also stopped at coffee shops in both ends of town and met with undisclosed people. Hmmmm.

  94. revenge says:

    There are all your college players from Masuk. Lots of Offensive linemen.

  95. Hsfan says:

    Hope he comes to stratford there are players there. He lives in stratford so I can see it. I do t think bunnell they already have bruno even though that team had some problems this year. They still embarrass and out coach stratford every year. Especially the last two blow outs.

  96. bristol rises says:

    Adazio wants Murph to join him at BC. Pasqualoni putting together an offer sheet as well.

    Who says you need a college degree to coach in college?

  97. RAY BROWN says:

    thats what uconn needs pasqualoni and murphy—lol

  98. Valley Time says:

    Masuk would have won in 2010 without Cochran. With that line and D and backfield they could have run the ball every play. If anything they passed the ball to much.

  99. @98, You’re right, 2010 team would have won without Cochran, or Murph. Great team, defense, and backs. Would not have mattered much who played QB. But J.Cochran did’nt agree with Murph to bring his son there to hand the ball off, they came to a passing team. Worked out great for Casey, only one title, but lots of personal recognition. Time to go forward with a new coach. Next year looks like a down year though. Bacarella, G, Christy, all good choices. Just don’t bring Jack back.

  100. Ray Brown must be licking his chops, waiting to get Masuk next year. It could be ugly.

  101. Valley Time says:

    Not to mention they would have been 13 & 0 in 2008 if he ran the ball against Brookfield. Mr. Pass Happy. Just win baby.

  102. Jarrod says:

    You guys are brutal. Why would anyone want to coach and listen to a bunch of never has beens critique his play selection from 4 years ago.

    Valley Time, what was your record in 2008?

  103. Poppi says:

    Murphy did the grunt work for Masuk football for 16 years. You are all crazy if you think they would have had just as much success without him. He was part of the equation of winning and succeeding. The coach that comes in just needs to maintain the standards and of course Masuk will be fine. They cannot bring in a youth football coach or a 1 yr D coordinator coach and think the program will continue to succeed. They need a veteran.

  104. Brian says:

    Everyone who thinks that bringing in a youth football coach will continue the winning tradition at Masuk is out of their mind. I don’t know if ya’ll heard through the grapevine but high school football is a little different than youth football last I heard. A youth football coach is NOT going to be able to compete with the Xavier and Hand caliber programs. RIP Masuk football

  105. Grow Local says:

    Lots of banter here. Outside perspective is, Christies and Bacarellas could do something big at Masuk. Coach Murphy did a great job, but he’s gone now. Think about the future. Bringing in any outside coach (short of Joe Lato, Marce or Lou) would probably result in a disaster. You have the local horsepower, go ahead and use it. They know the kids, the families, the program, how to play football and how to win. They deserve a shot and have contributed much already to the success of Masuk football – on and off the field. Not that hard a decision. Stop the youth football crap, these are football people and high level competitors.

  106. revenge says:

    These parents could never handle Coach ‘G.’ Too logical, too strait forward. Good luck if you guys lose him.

  107. Valley Time says:

    1 Loss to many

  108. WHAT says:

    Deserve a shot…remember HS football is more than calling plans and even winning. What experience do either have in helping kids academically or even more helping kids get into college. Bacarella has HS experience RECENTLY – how long has Christy been out of HS – and was his experience at the varsity level. First HS varsity job…at Masuk following Murphy with kids furtures at stake.

  109. Grow Local says:

    @WHAT – I hear you, but please don’t overstate what high school football coaches do for their players. Some are exemplary (and I commend them), but some (even winning coaches)do a poor job. Don’t discount an individual because they haven’t had the opportunity to be a head coach yet. Everyone needs a first chance. If I were from Monroe, I’d trust my kids with the Christies and/or the Bacarellas. This all being said – I’m not advocating that the existing Masuk coaches be pushed aside. I apologize for not mentioning them earlier. Maybe they are the better choice. Let the Monroe administrators determine the best path for the football program.

    Just had to get my mind off of the horrific massacre in Newtown for a moment. My thoughts and prayers go out to them. Lots or victims and lots of heroes in that town. God bless them all.

  110. Frank Football says:

    Many folks don’t realize the time committment that a coach that oversees a program of Masuk caliber deals with. You eat, drink and sleep football. Every free moment your working on football. The best High School Football coaches in CT have made unbelievable sacrifies. It’s not the money, they basically volunteers. It’s there drive, determination, and will to prepare. They so want their kids to succeed, and that’s what keep them going. If they have to continuous fight administration, and have substandard facilities, and are bickering with parents, they go elsewhere. You also have to have an incredible supportive family, especially a wife that gets it. The people of Monroe, are indebted to Coach Murphy, because thier are few people like him that are willing to make that type of sacrifice.

  111. GHS1973 says:

    We’ll take the Irishman, Murphy, here at Greenwich High…Coach Al has served us well, but I think we may need younger blood, sooner or later…I suppose it’s up to Coach Al to pass the torch, though

  112. Ctfootballer says:

    Lato is definitely committed. By Saturday night, after the game, he starts working on next week’s game plan. He has most of it ready during sunday’s film session, and come monday practice its ready for install.

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