Connecticut High School Football

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It’s official: Murphy takes over as New Milford football coach

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John Murphy.

As expected, New Milford’s Board of Education approved John Murphy as its football coachWednesday night.

Murphy, 45, who coached 16 years and won three state championships at Mausk before resigning in December, will begin his new job Thursday morning. He was also hired as the school’s girls lacrosse coach and as a paraeducator at Schaghticoke Middle School.

Murphy could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. He takes over for Chuch Lynch, who resigned in December after nine seasons.

“We’re excited. I think we got a coach who will give us our best opportunity to be successful,” said New Milford athletic director Lance Pliego, who added that Murphy far outshone the position’s 10 other candidates throughout three rounds of interviews with administrators, parents and other members of the community.

“As we went through the interview process, we saw him as a guy who’s clearly — not just because of his history and his resume — somebody that had a lot of interest in our program, our town and becoming a part of our community.”

And the town’s equally excited. “Our players and a lot of people around town are anxious to get to know him,” Pliego said.

New Milford, which has been traditionally strong in wrestling and lacrosse, has had virtually no success in football.

New Milford has had just four winning seasons since 1994, its last was a 6-5 mark in 2008. Its best season was in 2001 when it went 8-3 and lost to Foran in the SWC championship game. As a boarderline Class LL/L school, it has never been to the state playoffs.

“I know the records and results didn’t show it, but I think we’ve had good coaching and good players, but I think we might have been one or two players away from being a solid football team,” Pliego said. “We just haven’t had the history. We haven’t been able to translate the mentality of our wrestling and lacrosse programs to football.”

Murphy, on the other hand, was 158-33-1 in 16 years at Masuk. His teams won six SWC championships, reached the playoffs 12 times and won three state titles in seven championship appearances.

“We’re hoping Coach Murphy will help get more players to come out for football and sell the program and change perceptions, get the kids to puff their chests out a bit more and have that confidence to win games,” Pliego said. “I don’t think we’re that far away. I know the kids are excited. They’ll find a coach who is passionate to get this turned around.”

Sean Patrick Bowley

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68 Responses

  1. masuk alum says:

    congrats to coach murph and congrats to new milford as well. murph coached me at masuk, he couldn’t be more devoted to a football program. he knows how to win and motivate kids to work hard for something they believe in. he will absolutely revitalize that program and community and get those kids excited and proud to play football for their high school. can’t wait to support him at his new school next season

  2. ciacfollower says:

    I’m sure he’s relieved that he’ll be much less likely to have to face Hand again & get manhandled like a bunch of pop warner pee wee’s.

  3. mr fciac says:

    now it will be greenwich, staples and xavier

  4. swc15 says:

    ciacfollower, really, Hand had the upper hand for 2 years and will not be the dominating team this upcoming season. From what I have seen at the winter passing league, Hand has zero size and really no skill guys participating. The look like a below avg SWC team. Re: the SWC, Weston looks good at the sportszone and so does newtown. Could this be the year the swc breaks out and able to go deep in the states besides masuk and bunnel?

  5. Not Sure says:

    Madison is AYF – Unlimited

  6. Weasel says:

    Last year, NM overwhelmed 2 and underwhelmed 8. Their new sheriff is about to turn that around. Good luck to Murphy. He did a great job at Masuk. And despite the snide comment above, he’s coached a truly special group of young men the last several years. Testani, Cochran, Flynn, Milone and all the others…2010 was a truly ridiculous team. NM has hired well.

  7. BHSFAN says:

    The obvious choice. You can bet that he will turn the program around in time.

  8. swcinsider says:

    This is big for New Milford Murph he has done nothing but win
    The wave nation should thank the ad he showed some moxie and
    went after the big fish. most ad’s are lazy and have no clue what it
    takes to build winners they are to busy at the snack shop at the stadium

  9. Brian says:

    Hand also didn’t make it past the first round at UConn’s 1-day passing tournament last summer. So there’s that.

  10. Bunnell says:

    Any word on Bunnell candidates?

  11. bigmac says:

    Huge signing for new Milford, wish he would have been there when I played lol, new Milford has a lot of talent throughout the giant town and Murphy’s gonna have some players to work with, just not this year. Not much talent this year at nm as there has been in years past but hopefully they can go at least 5-5. Greenwaves gonna be a force to be reckoned with on a few years watch out swc and hopefully state

  12. JUST SAYING says:

    swcinsider- WAVE NATION WILL THANK THE AD ONCE MURPH PROVES HIMSELF. WINNING ISN’T EVERYTHING . HE COMES WITH BAGGAGE. I AM SURE HE PACKED IT ALL UP AND WILL HAVE IT WITH HIM. CAN’T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS.

  13. Frank says:

    passing league’s really, thats you evaluation of the upcoming season. Hand will be good again, and again, and again.

  14. swcinsider says:

    Just saying, oh yeah New Milford is all about baggage, but this coach
    will fill your bag with a solid program now we will see if its those overrated players we hear about in the youth programs or the coach

  15. Swoboda says:

    Just Saying & SWC Insider, I guess you did’nt hug before you parted ways.

  16. swcinsider says:

    Swoboda now its New Milford that’s going to keep beating your team

  17. SWC future says:

    Frank, passing league is a good way of evaluating one part of your team during the dreaded winter months. Most teams put together their upcoming varsity team unless the players are in winter sports like hoops. By looking at Hands hoop, I don’t think your best athletes are participating. Newtown is unstoppable at the passing league and beat Hand by like 5 TDs. Why wouldn’t they be excited about this? This is the year of the SWC as I don’t think there will be a team that can compete with the top of the SWC. Can you name one team that Newtown will not be able to handle in 2013-14? Even though they lost their starting DBs, LBs, and all their wide outs, their JV team will replenish those roles as they went 10-0 and didn’t have one game that was even close.

  18. swcinsider says:

    SWC future When did they become a power last year? What was the score
    in the opening round of the states? Newtowns program is mediocre at best
    for a LL school to be playing 1-LL school 4-L, 2-M and 3-S schools
    is soft.

  19. Frank says:

    Hand has never lost to an SWC team in the history of the program. They played Pomperaug in the Semi’s in 03 35-0 at half, last year against Masuk 35-0 at the half.
    The real game of football is won at the point of the attack, not one mississipi, two mississippi, go. Hand playing SWC team allows them to get reps for the JV.

  20. SCC fan says:

    18. How is it possible that a LL team only plays one other LL school? That is not right. This is like the NVL of the West but even worse as the NVL has 3 or 4 LL teams.

    When are they going to realign the leagues so the LL teams of the weak leagues are not automatically given a free pass to the states while teams like Ridgefield, Cheshire, Shelton, Prep, McMahon, etc are battling each week against tough opponents. Either realign or change the point system of beating lower class schools.

  21. swcinsider says:

    SCC fan your on the money, Newtown goes around puffing its chest
    because they win the SWC once every 10 years and they get in states
    in front of a fciac team that has to battle it out every week. Fciac teams go 8-2 and 9-1 and Newtown goes to states because they beat Immaculate or Joel Barlow

  22. SWC future says:

    It isn’t Newtown’s fault that they are playing a bunch of class S and M teams! If Newtown only won 1 title in the last 10 years, then I think that tells you the SWC is tougher than what most of you think. What else would be preventing them from winning more titles? The competition is typically one of the better in the state, that’s why.

  23. Bobby Don says:

    Immaculate is the biggest joke team ive ever seen. I went to immaculate in the late 80′s and unfortunately still have to go to some games. They have trouble getting a first down. We have a new offensive coordinator jordan capotano. He does an extremely bad job with the offense. It looks like the guy has never played football before. Im waiting to hear his name pop up to apply for one of these jobs. Ill literally die laughing.

    Watch out for New Milford. They chose the right guy b

  24. swcinsider says:

    Bobby Don be careful on Immaculate they have some coaching staff
    in place look at the names. I think a push is on to put football
    back on the map over there.

  25. Jamison says:

    Don’t rag too hard on Immaculate, they try hard. According to the CIAC they have 173 boys in the whole school. Newtown has 202 senior boys, Masuk 194 senior boys.

  26. Bobby Don says:

    Im not ranking on them. They just need a new offensive coordinator. Someone who is actually worried about the game rather than manicuring his goat tee. I just wonder how someone with such little knowledge gets that position at once a decently winning school. They struggle to move the ball when teams put in their JVs (against immaculates Varsity). It’s just tough to watch. Coach T will turn it around. He needs to just trim some fat off his staff

  27. Bubba says:

    Newtown is not a very good football team. No title in 20 years, that’s not good. That’s just not good, it’s non-competitve where it counts the most, post season. Sorry, Not trying to rub it in.

  28. SWC future says:

    Bubba, Newtown would compete for the title each and every year in any league in CT, including the SCC and FCIAC. Over the last 6 or 7 years, they have won no less than 8 games a season. This season they will not lose in the SWC an are favored for the states according to their parents.

  29. swcinsider says:

    SWC future its not the competition they are colossal underachievers
    they get out coached(Masuk) and out played

  30. Bubba says:

    Newtown would be like an Amity in the SCC, except Amity would destroy them in the SCC, don’t even go there with Hand, Xavier, Cheshire, Westhaven, Shelton, Prep, ND. Basically, it would take several years of brushing off patty cake football to get to that level. They could do it, but it would take a full commitment from the staff and players.

  31. swcinsider says:

    Bubba, Forget those schools I”m not sure they could put together
    a winning season playing the bottom half of the fciac.

  32. SWC future says:

    Really swc and bubba? Why would the coaches and media polls consistently have Newtown ranked in the top 10 for the last 5 years if they couldn’t compete with the westhavens, cheshies, and the rest?

    Newtown was screwed in the seedings and should have been ranked higher but ended up playing the team of the year in round 1. It would have been different with Hebert also. Just too many things stacked against them in 2012.

  33. Bubba says:

    Polls don’t mean squat! When was the last time Newtown won a State Title? 1992, 20 years ago, that’s not a good program, ok. Good programs are not once in a while, they are always knocking on the door. If they won 8 games every year in the SCC, they would have a couple of State Title under there belt, that’s called being battle tested. The reason they can’t win in the post-season is simple. They are not challenged by anyone in SWC because the league is really made up of a majority of small schools, and that’s why they get there 8 wins. Love Bubba.

  34. swcinsider says:

    SWc future please stop Newtown is an underachiever and its that simple

  35. tp says:

    Newtown may not be as good as SWC future states but they are no where as average as what Bubba and SWCinsider state either…To say they would struggle in the FCIAC or could not play with teams like Prep, Shelton, cheshire, etc is just not true. They do not get out coached or out played each year by Masuk…again a complete over statement.
    They are a solid team year in and year out and yes they consistently win 8 games every year in the SWC. More consistent than Bunnell, Pomperaug, and Brookfield other SWC programs that have won state championships recently. I know the SWC gets a bad wrap but the league is not nearly as bad as people state. Since 2005 the SWC has sent 8 different teams to the state playoffs (4 have won state championships)…the mighty FCIAC has sent 9. Not exactly a huge difference in numbers. In a given year the conference is better than others but like I stated not nearly as bad as people on here would lead you to believe.

  36. JUST SAYING says:

    SWC insider- VERY CONFIDENT THAT NEW MILFORD BEATS MASUK . GOOD LUCK

  37. swcinsider says:

    Newtown is a LL school tp a LL school they are underachievers period

  38. tp says:

    did they underachieve last year?

  39. UBilly says:

    The Newtown debate started when SWC future started evaluating the “future” based on passing league results! What you need to understand if you are basing your upcoming season on passing league matchups, you really do not understand how teams like Hand, Xavier, Windsor, Ansonia, and others win so much. Trenches, tough yards, huge hits on those recievers who do not have to worry in the passing league, bruising backers, and mental toughness.
    NOT the pretty passing. That certainly will help you win, but that is not what seperates the best from those that win games. Keep focusing on passing league results, and the rest of the state will keep not focusing on you late in the year!

  40. SWC future says:

    tp, they overachieved by going 10-0. They just got a raw deal playing without their best player and getting one of the top teams in the state as a first rounder. I think Newtown beats NFA 3 out of 5 times as a healthy team.

  41. swcinsider says:

    raw deal blah blah blah they go 10-0 one time in 15years and now
    they are the pride of the SWC go look at Masuk that’s a program
    If Newtown can put that kind of run together then we can anoint them
    the best. I think Weston has a better record over the last 3 years
    then Newtown. They couldn’t beat New Caanan healthy let alone NFA

  42. bubba says:

    last time I checked: kids did not get rings or a banner for there gym for winning the passing league. love bubba

  43. tp says:

    swcinsider – you obviously don’t know much about the SWC if you think Weston had a better record over the last 3 years or any period of time…
    Still did not answer the question…did they underachieve last year????

  44. tp says:

    BTW – I completely agree about not judging teams by passing league, scrimmages, or anything else other than the games played on Friday nights in the fall…winning winter passing league means absolutely nothing!

  45. swcinsider says:

    tp look it up, and one year out of 20 is underachieving they played
    1-LL school and a bunch of S and M schools New Canaan plays 6 or 7
    LL schools

  46. tp says:

    last 3 years – Newtown 27-6 and weston is 22-10…

    To say they underachieved last year is ridiculous and shows you know nothing about this team…they started 4 sophomores last year and made it to the state playoffs…tell me another team that did that and was considered to be an “underachiever”….thanks for showing how little you know about what you speak…

  47. Sunny Valley Flash says:

    Will be interesting to see how New Milford does now that they have a competent coach in place and might actually have a program. They really have had only one decent coach (Tom Taylor) in the last 35 years. It’s no surprise New Milford has never been good – they’ve never had good coaches who actually ran a program. Just roll out the pads and balls and see what happens. No interest, no pressure, no drive. Was very odd, never seen a football program more disconnected from the school.

    Given the size of the school and the success in some of the other programs, New Milford has underachieved forever. I have no idea looking back how we didn’t do better in the old WCC, there were only one or two good teams in that league and most were the Class M schools (then). There was always a real attrition of players from freshman to JV to varsity such that a promising class of players would be whittled down to nothing by their senior year. And for years the best athletes in NM didn’t play football, soccer siphoned off a bunch and others just concentrated on other sports. Who the heck wanted to run the option and get beat up instead of throwing it around?

    The numbers and general talent should be there to be competitive in the SWC.

  48. SWC future says:

    47, yes it should be exciting to see what the next 5 years bring for NM. Their Frosh and JV teams did not win any games last season and possibly the year before so I wouldn’t expect much in terms of a quick turnaround. It would be easier if we played in a league with the bottom competition like the FCIAC and SCC has, but you play who you are dealt.

  49. swcinsider says:

    tp lets go Newtown LL 2012 schedule 1-LL school, 3-L, 3-M and 3-S
    Ridgefield Schedule 6-LL schools 4-L schools
    and your proud you have a few more wins the Weston

  50. swcinsider says:

    swc future you got it playing those m and s schools in the swc
    are tougher then that fciac league

  51. CTFB12 says:

    swcinsider, playing devils advocate, name the 6 LL and 4L schools that Ridgefield will be playing. I say this because it really doesnt matter what size school your playing against if the team itself stinks. Plus Im pretty sure none of those LL schools would want to play Ansonia in an out of league game. Even though Ansonia is S they would still kick the crap out most(except maybe X and Hand) of the LL-L schools.
    Newtown will be very good this year, period. Get over it. If Newtown had Greenwich or Staples schedule last year they would have had the same record

  52. CTFB12 says:

    To be fair, I do agree with the fact that the SWC was VERY down last year. In the past though it has been a traditionally strong league except for the bottom.

    The top has been very good some years as in:

    Masuk
    Pomp
    Bunnell
    Brookfield
    Bethel
    Newtown

    the middle
    Barlow
    New Fairfield
    Weston
    Oxford
    Stratford

    The Bottom
    ND-FF
    Immaculate

  53. CTFB12 says:

    Forgot New Milford they probably belong somewhere between the middle and bottom,although not for long with Murph there now

  54. ClueHaywood says:

    NM will definitely get a few wins (5-6 would be reasonable) to go along with all the baggage they acquired this off-season.

  55. swcinsider says:

    ctfb-12 how about Greenwich, Central, Stamford ,Staples and Chesire
    vs Weston, Joel Barlow, ND Fairfield, Immaculate
    Bethel you have to be kidding

  56. CTFB12 says:

    Your an idiot. You took the top of the FCIAC and compared it with the middle bottom of the SWC. W/E there is no talking to you. In a normal year I would take the SWC but not last year.

  57. swcinsider says:

    ok so Danbury is bottom half and they beat Immaculate, NM, ND Fairfield
    and any other two schools you want to pick.

  58. ciacfollower says:

    @ #39 – U go, UBilly !

  59. tp says:

    @swcinsider – you brought up Weston when you stated they had a better record…not me.

    You stated they underachieved and showed you know nothing about the team…

    Ridgefield did not play Staples… Cheshire is not even in the FCIAC…

    Yes, Newtown played ND and Immaculate which is a joke…I agree but that is who was on the schedule…

    If comparing them to another LL school I would not use Ridgefield…they played Harding, Danbury, Warde, a 2 win Stamford team, 3 win Central team, Norwalk (3 wins)…come on… They were also one of the few teams in LL that had less tie breaker points than Newtown…

    If you are going to come on here and bash a team you should at least know a little about what you are talking about…

  60. SCC fan says:

    Not only did Newtown play ND and Immaculate, they played Oxford, Stratford, NM and Bethel. But you are correct, they are playing who is on their schedule.

    The reason Central, Norwalk and the bottom teams only have 3 or so wins is because of the great competition in the FCIAC. The parity is great in the FCIAC for the most part. Norwalk only had 3 victories but they beat the snot out of Newtown in the last scrimmage before the season started, which is the game all teams play like a real game. As I recall, Norwalk beat the snot out of Newtown the season before. Could you imagine Newtown being in the FCIAC and just a below avg team if they cannot handle a young Norwalk team? I know, it will never happen as everyone is contempt with playing class S and M teams.

  61. mueller says:

    Great competition in the FCIAC, that why Ridgefield goes 8-2 without a clue; they’d be struggling to be .500 in SCC D1, with the way the FCIAC schedules, the Tigers would have had the same record in the SWC last year, provided they played Masuk and a healthy Newtown, and I would be the first to say that the SWC was weak last year

  62. CTFB12 says:

    Just for the sake of arguing not all teams play the last scrimmage like a game. Some coaches choose to not play their starters a lot to ensure they are all healthy for when it really counts. You know games NOT scrimmages. Hahaha obviously your not a coach cause they dont care about scrimmages as much as fans do.

  63. SCC fan says:

    I am not saying the FCIAC is the best, we all know the SCC is second to none. The SWC has been weak for quite awhile with only 1 or 2 teams that are decent a year. It is quite a good lower class league but no way should the 2 LL teams be playing mostly class S and M teams. I dont know about Ridgefield but I am sure they would be challenging for the SWC title each and every year.

    Remember, Masuk was way overrated and were down 35-0 in the early 2nd qt vs Hand. Life is different once you get outside of upper Fairfield County.

  64. swcinsider says:

    lets move the LL teams out of the SWC or fix the point system for
    the LL schools in the SWC when they play S and M schools. Its not
    a bad drive to Ridgefield, Wilton, Darien, Danbury, NC, etc. its
    embarrassing for LL schools to even scrimmage an S school let alone
    play them.

  65. CTFB12 says:

    swcinsider, again I reiterate, I dont see any LL or L schools lining up to play Ansonia every year. They scrimmage all LL schools and kick the crap out of them every year. It has nothing to do with the size of the school. Its the program.
    @SCC fan,the SWC has been on par with the FCIAC for the past 10 years with the FCIAC having 17 appearances in the state playoffs and SWC having 15. SWC is 2-1 vs FCIAC in state playoffs with Staples beating Masuk in 2005. The others are Masuk over New Canaan in 2010 and Bunnell beating Staples in 2006.

    FCIAC had 5 teams make it
    Staples 6x
    NC 6x
    St Joes 2x
    Greenwich 2x
    Darien 1x

    SWC 6 teams
    Masuk 5x
    Brookfield 4x
    Bunnell 2x
    Pomp 2x
    Bethel 1x
    Stratford 1x

  66. SWC future says:

    CTFB12, I agree that scrimmages are just that, but when we play class S Seymour and play all our starters one week and then scrimmage class LL Norwalk the next, and don’t, it does kind of look bad. Here we have a chance to go out and play another LL team from a different league and decide not to show the state what the SWC is all about. I don’t get it?

    We should just play all our starters against Norwalk this season and dominate them so it isn’t an issue.

  67. swcinsider says:

    3-FCIC players in NFL combines
    ?-SWC
    ?-SCC
    ?-NVL
    ?-CCC

  68. fciac johnny says:

    ctfb12, you are really trying to prove that the swc is up there with the fciac? The big difference is that the majority of the fciac teams have a chance to compete for the championship while the swc is just masuk, and finally Newtown. Masuk had a great run but they were the only team in the swc those years. Go to a masuk or newtown game and see how bad their opponents are yourself. swc typically has 1 or 2 teams that are head and shoulders above the rest of the swc while the rest are bottom feeders. fciac has a few too but not as many.