On Tuesday, new Eastern Michigan head basketball coach Rob Murphy came back to Syracuse and gave a really heart-felt, emotional thank you to Syracuse University, Jim Boeheim, and the entire Orange fanbase for the opportunity to coach here for the last seven years.
However, it should be us thanking Coach Murphy for all that he has done since 2004 when he took over the assistant coaching position left vacant by Troy Weaver.
We all know about the great players that Coach Murphy recruited to come to SU, and the fun we had during the 2010 season with his Syracuse-themed raps (which helped raised money for the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation to fight cancer), but Coach Murphy's impact did not end here.
Murphy developed a real special bond with the players he brought here. On Tuesday night, Kris Joseph took to twitter to thank Coach Murph:
@Krisjo32: just want to thank @robmurphycuse for helping me grow as a person a well as a ball player from the day he started recruiting me. Thank you!
Murphy was like a father, or an older brother to many of the players here; he is the absolute definition of a player's coach.
Coach Murphy is also very dedicated to the fans. As a student here on campus, one of my fondest memories of him is from this past September. While planning our first Otto's Army meeting of the year, which is always a big one due to all of the excited new freshmen on campus, friend of the blog Louis Milman sent out a tweet to Coach Murphy and Kris Joseph on a whim, letting them know when it was happening in case they wanted to say something to the students. Obviously, we did not think they would actually come. However about 20 minutes into our meeting, in walked Coach Murphy and Kris Joseph, taking time out of their schedule to meet and talk to our organization, and mostly to thank us for supporting them during the season.
To any Eastern Michigan fans who stumble upon this blog, you all are getting a great coach, and a great person who is adored by his players, and is absolutely tremendous to his fans. We're losing a great one here in Syracuse, but I could not be happier for Coach Murphy, and when the MAC season rolls around, I know what team will be getting my support.
So, Coach Murphy, thank you for all you've done here at Syracuse. You will always be an Orangeman to us.