CASTINE, Maine — Chris Murphy has been a fixture on the sidelines at Maine Maritime Academy.
Now, he is preparing to give up coaching the Mariners men’s basketball team.
Murphy this week announced his decision to retire from his position at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season.
“For 22 years I have been fortunate to work at an extraordinary institution that prepares young men and women for very successful futures,” Murphy said in a press release. “I have been able to work at something that I still wholeheartedly love and have had the opportunity to work with a significant number of quality young men.”
Not only has this season’s ballclub struggled to a 1-12 record thus far, Murphy realizes he faces challenges of his own.
“My biggest regret will be leaving this year’s team,” he explained. “They are very young, and though they are struggling with the adjustment to playing at the collegiate level, have the best upside of any group I have had here in a long time. I still love where I coach but at the age of 64, I am no longer physically able to sustain the level of effort these players deserve. It is the right time for me to walk away.”
Murphy led the Mariners to a North Atlantic Conference title in 2000 and reached championship games in 2002 and 2003. He was named NAC Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2008.
“Coach Murphy’s loyalty to, and passion for, Maine Maritime Academy is surpassed only by his dedication to developing young adults for a demanding profession,” said MMA Director of Athletics Steve Peed. “He is one of the most honorable and likable coaches I have encountered in my 13 years of working in intercollegiate athletics, which is why he is an institution in Eastern Maine.”
The Mariners have made 10 NAC postseason appearances since the league’s inaugural season in 2000. He has helped groom NAC Players of the Year, eight All-NAC first-team picks, two All-Maine first-team choices and one Maine Player of the Year.
Two of his teams earned NCAA Division III rebounding titles and two former players went on to play professionally overseas.
Murphy’s MMA teams have posted a combined record of 180-307 (37 percent).
McFarland boosts Bentley
Sophomore Tyler McFarland of Rockport is enjoying another outstanding season for the Bentley University men’s basketball team.
The former Camden Hills star is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Falcons, who were 13-4 going into Wednesday night’s game at New Haven.
McFarland has been particularly efficient on the offensive end for coach Jay Lawson. He is the top 3-point shooter in the Northeast-10 Conference at .512 (21-for-44).
McFarland also ranks fifth in scoring (19.5 ppg), sixth in rebounding (8.2 rpg) and third in free-throw percentage at .870 (40-for-46).
Last week, the 6-foot-5 forward broke a 46-year-old Bentley record when went 12-for-12 from the field, including four 3-pointers, while scoring 32 points in a win over American International College.
McFarland, who has surpassed 30 points three times this season, is coming off a freshman campaign during which he led Bentley in scoring (15.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg) and registered nine double-doubles.
He averaged 24.1 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 2.0 assists and 1.8 blocked shots and was named to the Bangor Daily News All-Maine first team. McFarland, a three-time winner of the William C. Warner Award as the MVP of the EM Class B tournament, also was a two-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
McFarland spent a year at Cushing Academy (2011-2012) before enrolling at Bentley.