After four years as a player and four more as a coach it was officially announced Saturday Preston Murphy was heading up I-95 to join new head coach Jim Christian’s Boston College staff.
Murphy was previouslyÂ at Boston College where he was director of men’s basketball operations under former URI coach Al Skinner.
Murphy originally came to Kingston in 1995. He played under Skinner and was a part of some of the more successful years in men’s basketballÂ atÂ theÂ University ofÂ RhodeÂ Island. At the time of his playing career, the Rams made three NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Elite Eight in 1997 withÂ formerÂ coach Jim Harrick. URI also made the NIT during his time on the team. They won 86 games during that span.
His last two seasonsÂ clad inÂ Keaney Blue, Murphy averaged 30 minutes and 10 points perÂ game while shooting 40 percent from the field. Murphy also shot overÂ 35 percent from beyond the arcÂ and 66 percent from the charity stripe.
Following graduation, MurphyÂ played three years of overseas basketball in Belgium and Holland. When he left URI, he had scored a total of 1,218 career points in his 128 games played. He also ranked third in team history with 181Â 3-points shots. Murphy then began his coaching career with three years at the helm of Woonsocket High School. It was then Murphy assumed his role on the Boston College coaching staff. While at Chestnut Hill,Â he was an academic liaison andÂ part of business administration and office management.
Much like the previous tenure in Kingston, Skinner and Murphy achieved a good amount of success during their four years together. Boston College made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 2007 and 2009. The Eagles also managed to win the third most games in the Atlantic Coastal Conference behind only Duke University and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
When Skinner and his staff were let go following the 2009 season, then Rams head coach Jim Baron hired Murphy as an assistant. Baron was let go in 2012 after going 27-38 during the two years, butÂ new head coach Dan Hurley decided to retain Murphy as a member of his crew. Over time, Murphy has been seen as a strong recruiter, and given credit for stars such as T.J. Buchanan and E.C. Matthews coming to URI. Upon being hired in 2010, Murphy said he would “Sell his memories to bring kids in here” to URI.
It now appears Murphy will be doing the same in his secondÂ time aroundÂ with the Eagles. In spite of URI’s efforts to keep Murphy here, perhaps it was time for a new challenge. 2013 National Champion LouisvilleÂ is entering the Atlantic CoastÂ Conference this coming season and BCÂ was already fightingÂ an uphill battleÂ against strong opponents like Duke, Syracuse and Virginia. It will be interesting to see how well Murphy’s recruiting and coaching talents transition from a mid-major conference like the Atlantic 10 to the ACC.