Sports Are Always In His Sight

Long Hours, Results Mark Coach's Career

July 14, 1991|By Nancy Menefee Jackson | Nancy Menefee Jackson,Contributing sports writer

BALTIMORE — One wall of Thomas J. Murphy's office at Loyola College in Baltimoreis glass, and it seems as if the room is hanging over the huge artificial turf athletic field.

At any minute, one expects a lacrosse ball to come sailing up from an errant clear.

It's a fitting view for Murphy, who is entering his third year asassistant athletic director for the Division I school.

And it's afitting job for the 58-year-old New Windsor resident, who has been involved with athletics on several levels since he played lacrosse at Loyola.

A former Baltimore City public school teacher, Murphy has coached lacrosse at Loyola College, Loyola High School and the University of Baltimore. He coached football from 1963 to 1981 at Mergenthaler Vo-Tech High School in Baltimore, and he currently is coaching Loyola College's swim team.

Murphy is in charge of operations, whichhe translates as "whatever makes this place go."

His responsibilities include scheduling intercollegiate events, organizing staff and equipment, coordinating security and seeing that the fields and facilities are ready for the games.

His least-favorite part of the job is the hours, which can be long, especially during basketball season.

"During the school year, it's very time-consuming," he says. "Practically a seven-day-a-week job."

One particular responsibility --directing parking at Loyola events -- is an ongoing headache. On a small campus tucked along Baltimore's busy Charles Street, "parking isno minor thing."

But he can escape the confines of urban congestion at his home on Dennings Road, where he and his wife have lived since 1971. He was attracted to Carroll County, he says, because of the land.

"It's nice and quiet," he says. "We have some space to move around and do what we want to do.

"And it was a great place to raise four kids."

When his children, who have long since left home, were attending Westminster High, Murphy became involved in Carroll's summer lacrosse leagues, where he did some coaching and officiating.

"When they first started, they didn't have enough officials," he recalls. "I used to do the games."

But teaching science and coachingin the city kept Murphy too busy for much more. He taught science for 26 years, and also worked two summers with the U.S. Army Medical Bioengineering Research and Development Laboratory in a study that tested for residual pesticides.

When he finished teaching, the assistant athletic job seemed like a natural step.

"I like the idea of being involved in athletics," he says, adding that his favorite sport -- lacrosse -- is also one at which Loyola athletes excel. "My favorite sport was football, but when I started to play lacrosse that had tobe the favorite."

His career goals include boosting some of the lesser-known sports -- such as golf, swimming and tennis -- to prominence in the NCAA by developing top-notch teams at Loyola.

He has similar hopes for sports back home too.

"I'd like to see a couple ofother sports (in Carroll County) get a little expansion, for exampleswimming. The winter swimming program needs improvement."

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