Throughout the past 22 years, Mike Murphy has developed an impressive, comprehensive resume as a collegiate lacrosse coach. Beginning as an assistant at the Division III level, Murphy assumed virtually every possible role a college coach can undertake while gradually working his way to becoming a Division I head coach, taking over the Colgate University men’s program in 2011.
Deciding he was ready for a change, Murphy began pursuing career opportunities in the independent school world and resigned as Colgate coach at the end of the 2018 season. In July 2018, Murphy was introduced as The Hill’s next head boys’ lacrosse coach.
A 1996 graduate of The University of New Hampshire, Murphy was a four-year member of the Wildcats’ men’s lacrosse team, which was a NCAA Division I program at the time. Immediately after graduating from U.N.H., Murphy began what would become a 22-year tenure as a college lacrosse coach.
He cut his teeth as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Merrimack College in the 1996-1997 season, and over the next six years Murphy also served as an assistant coach at Pfeiffer University, Wingate University, and Denison University.
In 2003, Murphy became the assistant coach at the United States Military Academy, beginning a lengthy stint as a Division I coach. While at Army, Murphy coached the team’s goalkeepers, defensemen, and faceoff specialists. Additionally, he was the recruiting co-coordinator and video coordinator.
Murphy remained at Army for eight seasons, during which time the program qualified for the NCAA tournament three times. While content with his role as an assistant, Murphy aspired to become a head collegiate coach if the opportunity arose. That opportunity came in 2011, when Murphy was hired as the head coach at Colgate University.
Murphy arrived at Colgate facing the tall order of succeeding Jim Nagle, the winningest coach in program history.
It was a challenge he was ready for. In his first season, Murphy guided the Raiders to a 14-4 record – a program record for single-season wins – and a trip to the quarterfinal of the NCAA tournament. In the opening round, Colgate upset a University of Massachusetts team that was ranked sixth in the nation.
One accolade that eluded the highly successful 2012 team was the Patriot League championship. After guiding the Raiders to the Patriot League playoffs in each of his first three seasons, Murphy led the 2015 Colgate team to the Patriot League title and another berth in the NCAA tournament, defeating four teams ranked in the nation’s top-20 in the process.
Murphy departed Colgate as the third-winningest coach in program history. Four of Murphy’s players were selected in the Major League Lacrosse draft, including Peter Baum, the first overall pick in the 2013 MLL draft. Baum also was the 2012 Tewaarton Award winner, the men’s lacrosse equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, and the 2012 Raymond J. Enners Award, given to the Division 1 Outstanding Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Year.
Throughout his tenure on a collegiate sideline, Murphy mentored 23 All-Americans, 100 All-Conference selections, and 12 Patriot League “Player of the Year” winners.