Tim Murphy’s long run as a high school football coach is over.
After 221 victories, 20 league championships, three Northern California regional titles and one state crown over 26 years at three schools, Murphy told the Bay Area News Group in a text that on Monday that he will not be back for a 12th season at Clayton Valley Charter.
“I was trying to muster up the energy for Spring ball, and I just couldn’t do it,” Murphy, 53, wrote.
Murphy has hinted about retiring, telling this news organization in August 2021 that he planned to step down after the season that year.
But Murphy did not step down.
He returned last fall and led the Ugly Eagles to the East Bay Athletic League Mountain Division championship and the North Coast Section Division I final for the second consecutive year.
In 11 seasons at Clayton Valley, Murphy guided the Concord school to 10 league and four NCS titles. He also won three regional championships and a state title in 2019 while leading the Ugly Eagles.
“He elevated the game around here,” De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh said. “He always volunteered to play us. He always wanted to play us. He always had his teams prepared. His teams were always physical, tough and well-coached and disciplined.
“He elevated the level of play in this area because people had to respond to how they were playing and try and elevate their own game to compete with him. He’s a hell of a coach. You can’t deny it.”
Murphy started his career as a head coach down the street from De La Salle, at Ygnacio Valley.
He won three league titles and an NCS crown while coaching at the school from 1996-2000. He was the Contra Costa Times’ coach of the year in 1999.
Murphy then moved to the Fresno area for a decade, coaching Clovis East to six league titles and two Central Section championships before taking over at Clayton Valley in 2012.
“We’ve had some great battles over the years going back a long ways, when he was at YV,” Alumbaugh added. “People forget about that. He had some great teams. He had a halftime lead on us one time when he was at YV.
“What I’ll remember is it was always going to be entertaining whenever you played against Murph. I’ll say that happily. He had so much passion and so much desire that you knew his kids were going to play their tails off and you knew he was going to be fiery.”
Nick Tisa, who had coached with Murphy for years, would seem like the obvious pick to take over at Clayton Valley.
“School has to open it up but he is definitely my choice!” Murphy wrote, adding that Tisa has been running the entire off-season program and “he’s ready.”