Coach Misty Murphy brings 17 years of collegiate coaching experience. Most recently, in 2009, Murphy accomplished something at the University of Evansville which had only happened once in the school’s proud history of collegiate athletics: she led her UE women’s basketball team to the NCAA Division I National Tournament in her first year as the program’s head coach. She was the only first- year women’s basketball head coach in school history to lead her team to the NCAA Tournament. She did so with an undying belief in the team concept and a passion which emanated throughout the UE program in the postseason. Under her direction, graduating senior guard Ashley Austin emerged as one of the Valley’s top playmakers, earning all-MVC honors and State Farm MVC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors after establishing new single-season career highs in virtually every statistical category. Austin was not alone, as eight of UE’s nine returning players from 2008 established new single-season career highs statistically under the watch of Murphy and her coaching staff.
Murphy came to UE from Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she helped the Owls to back-to-back Post season WNIT appearances in 2006 and 2007 while assisting Rice to over 51 victories during her 3 years on staff as assistant and associate head coach. She is known on the court for her ability to develop and recruit top-flight talent. Off of the court, she is known as a devoted family person, with strong moral principles and a firm believer in academics. Two of Murphy’s players, Lauren Neaves in 2007 and Valeriya Berezhynska in 2008, were invited to the WNBA combine, with Berezhynska becoming just the third Rice player in school history to be selected in the WNBA draft, going to the Detroit Shock in the third round. In the classroom, Rice posted the highest women’s basketball team grade point average in Conference USA in 2007, with Murphy serving as the program’s academic liaison.
Prior to her work at Rice, Murphy was a very successful head coach at both the Division II and junior college level at both Colorado State University-Pueblo and Sheridan College in Wyoming. Murphy compiled a 42-19 record in two years as head coach at Sheridan College from 1999 through 2001, while leading her team to a pair of conference championships and back-to-back Region IX North Sub-Region titles. She was named the 2001 conference coach of the year, and developed three future NCAA Division I players, including NJCAA All-American JoAnn Doyle.
Murphy then fashioned a 66-46 record in four years as head coach at Colorado State-Pueblo. She inherited a CSU-Pueblo program in 2001 which had not produced a winning season in over a decade, and within two years, produced back-to-back Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference West Division co championships and the first 20-win season in school history in 2004.
Murphy began her coaching career at Colorado State as a student assistant coach during the 1994-95 season and remained on staff as a full-time assistant coach with the Rams from1995 through 1997. As an assistant at CSU, she helped recruit current WNBA All-Star and Olympian Becky Hammon, who led Colorado State to the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1996. Murphy then spent the next two years as an assistant coach at Northern Colorado, helping UNC to a 38-19 record, before embarking on her head coaching career at Sheridan College. Murphy was an outstanding player herself, earning NJCAA Honorable Mention All-America honors at Sheridan College in 1992 before transferring to the Division I level at Colorado State, earning team Most ValuablePlayer honors and all-Western Athletic Conference laurels as co-captain during her senior season.