June 12, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore announced Sunday afternoon that softball head coach Patrick Murphy has returned to UA as head coach after leaving on Thursday, June 9, to take the head coaching job at LSU.
Murphy contacted LSU officials on Sunday to let them know that he had decided not to accept the job and Moore accepted Murphy’s request to return to UA when the coach contacted Moore on Sunday afternoon.
“I am glad to see that he has had a change of heart because I have always known that he is one of the finest coaches in America,” Moore said.
Murphy guided Alabama to a 53-11 record this past season that included a third place finish at the WCWS and a second straight Southeastern Conference regular season title. Under his direction in 2011 Murphy had four players earn NFCA All-American honors and five garner All-SEC accolades, including two-time SEC Pitcher of the Year Kelsi Dunne.
In his 13 seasons at Alabama, Murphy has amassed a 684-190 overall record and a 287-86 mark in league contests while guiding the Crimson Tide to seven WCWS, seven SEC championships (four tournament and three regular season) and a postseason berth every season.
Alyson Habetz, Alabama’s associate head coach who joined Murphy at LSU, also will return as part of the staff.
STATEMENT FROM Patrick Murphy
Below is a statement from University of Alabama head softball coach Patrick Murphy:
“First, I want to thank everyone at the University of Alabama – the administration, the players and the support staff – for their support over the last few days. I have tremendous respect for the University of Alabama and for LSU. LSU offered me a great opportunity, but I realized once I got there that I had made a mistake that had nothing to do with LSU. I realized that I belong at Alabama. Alabama is where my heart is and I cannot in good conscience try to do a job in which I am not totally committed beyond any doubt. I can honestly say that the last few days have only made it clear that Alabama is where I want to be – beyond any doubt. It would have been totally unfair to everyone at LSU – especially the players – for me to be conflicted at all about where I was.
“I appreciate everything LSU did. They did everything in a first class manner. This change of heart is not in any way a reflection on anyone at LSU. It is solely something that I am responsible for. I can only convey to everyone my deepest apologies for putting all of those who care about both of these programs through a difficult time. In my heart, I know that this is the right thing for me to do.
“When reconsidering all of the factors involved, this decision comes down to the fact that I love the people at Alabama, the kids that have played for us there and who are on the team right now. Obviously, there are some fences to mend, but I look forward to getting the chance to discuss the situation individually with everyone involved over the days ahead. I am excited about the future of Alabama softball and I look forward to getting back to work.
“In closing, I want to give my thanks to Dr. Witt, Coach Moore, Dave Hart, Finus Gaston, Marie Robbins and all of the people at the University of Alabama who have been so supportive over all these years. I am grateful for the chance to return and I look forward to continuing on the journey we have been on these many years.”
THE LSU RESPONSE
BATON ROUGE – LSU has re-opened its search for a new softball coach after Patrick Murphy reneged on his decision to coach the Tigers, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva announced Sunday.
“I am very disappointed in Patrick’s decision after he had committed to be our head coach,” said Alleva. “I am especially disappointed for the young women on our team to whom he gave every indication he was in this for the long haul. We will use this opportunity to find a coach who will be the right leader for our student-athletes, who will wear the purple and gold with pride and will lead the softball program with integrity.”