By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — University of Alabama head softball coach Patrick Murphy spoke about memories he has in his position and the culture of the program at Thursday’s Trussville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Murphy talked about having winning seasons every year since the team went 29-29 his first year. He told a story about meeting Joe Namath in a Tuscaloosa hotel when he first arrived as coach and about his last conversation with former Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore, who died in March.
Alabama had just defeated Auburn, and Moore was in a North Carolina hospital, watching the game. He called Murphy after the game and said, “Congratulations, that was awesome.” It was the last time Murphy spoke with Moore.
“That’s what Mal would do,” Murphy said. “Out of the blue, he’d call you.”
Murphy also talked about the uniqueness of the Alabama softball program, comparing it to a homemade birthday cake as opposed to a store-bought birthday cake. He said the cake is a little bit burnt, the letters may be messed up and the frosting may have run some due to cooking too hot.
“That’s Alabama softball,” he said. “We’re a mom and pop organization.”
Murphy said that 2,600 season tickets were sold last year, more than some college football programs sell. Trussville City Schools Athletics Director Karen Johns said season tickets are delivered personally by the team, not through the mail.
“It’s a very unique program, and that’s why it’s the best in the country,” Johns said.
Murphy has been the head softball coach at Alabama since 1999, and in 2012 Alabama won the NCAA Women’s College World Series. Alabama has reached the Women’s College World Series eight times under Murphy, won four SEC championships and reached the NCAA Tournament 14 straight years.
Murphy’s career record, including one season at Northwest Missouri State in 1995, is 817-233. He was the assistant softball coach at Alabama from 1996 to 1998.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.