BANGOR, Maine — Sean Murphy has resigned as the head football coach at Husson University but will stay on as an assistant athletic director and as the new men’s lacrosse coach, according to Husson director of athletics Bob Reasso.
Murphy will coach the Eagles in Saturday’s finale at Anna Maria College (Mass.).
The Eagles will take a 2-7 record into the game, 1-5 in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
They went 0-10 and 0-7, respectively, in his first season last fall.
Murphy took over for Niles Nelson, who was 5-14 (4-9 in conference) in his two seasons after replacing Gabby Price, who started the reinstated program in 2002 and went 25-28 in six seasons including a 19-10 mark over his last three years.
Murphy spent one season under Nelson as the associate head coach and defensive coordinator.
Murphy will inherit the lacrosse job from Tim Murphy, who resigned in August to take the lacrosse position at Curry College (Mass.). Matt Sweeney had been filling in on an interim basis during the fall.
“It was a tough decision but, at the same time, it was the right decision for everybody,” said the 34-year-old Murphy. “Throughout the season, I realized the demands [of being the football coach] are extremely high and it took its toll in a lot of ways. At one point, my son (9-year-old Seamus) asked me why I worked so much. I told him I loved what I did.”
“In all honesty, the football program being inherited by the new football coach will be way better than the one Sean inherited,” said Reasso. “The team has been much more competitive this year and the team is much further along than it was when Sean took it over.”
He said Murphy also made significant strides in improving the players’ academic performance and in elevating the numbers.
“We had 35 kids in spring ball [in Murphy’s first season] and that’s not a recipe for success. Sean will be leaving 65 players [for spring ball] for the new coach,” said Reasso.
Reasso said Murphy approached him about applying for the lacrosse job a few weeks ago and “he was the best candidate, by far.”
Murphy was a former All-State lacrosse player at Marshwood High School in Eliot and went on to be an all-conference player in both football and lacrosse at Plymouth State (N.H.).
He has coached both sports at Plymouth State, Bowdoin College and Dickinson College (Pa.).
“I went to a lot of Husson’s lacrosse games last spring and I realized I missed it. It has been a passion of mine. And I looked at it as a new challenge. My skill set and experience are a real good match for what we need in the lacrosse program,” said Murphy.
As an assistant AD, Murphy oversees the strength and conditioning programs for all the Husson teams and also monitors the Clara Swan Fitness Center.
Murphy and his wife, Amie, have three children and he is hoping to be able to spend more time with them.
Reasso said Husson will begin its search for a new football coach immediately and he is looking for someone with “previous head coaching experience.” He hopes to name a coach within a month.
“I feel we’ve made some great strides with the football program,” said Murphy. “We have developed a very strong foundation of character and commitment to excellence now. The new coach won’t have to deal with the challenges I had to when I first got here. The new coach will see immediate results based on the foundation that is here.”
Murphy will help the new coach in the transition process.