Tod Murphy

Last updated
Tod Murphy
Tod Murphy Gordon Interview.jpg
Murphy being interviewed after a game in 2019
Personal information
Born (1963-12-24) December 24, 1963 (age 59)
Long Beach, California
Listed height6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school Lakewood (Lakewood, California)
College UC Irvine (1982–1986)
NBA draft 1986 / Round: 3 / Pick: 53rd overall
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Playing career1987–1998
Position Power forward / center
Number46, 4, 9, 41
Coaching career2001–present
Career history
As player:
1987 Los Angeles Clippers
1987–1988 Albany Patroons
1988–1989 BBV Collado Villalba
19891992 Minnesota Timberwolves
1993 Rochester Renegade
1993–1994 Detroit Pistons
1994 Golden State Warriors
1994 Kleenex Pistoia
1994–1995 Valvi Girona
1995 Gymnastikos Larissa
1995–1996 Nuova Tirrena Roma
1996–1998 Daiwa Securities Hot Blizzards
As coach:
2001–2003 UC Riverside (assistant)
2003–2009 UC Irvine (assistant)
2009–present Gordon
Career highlights and awards
  • 2× First-team All-PCAA (1985, 1986)
  • PCAA All-Freshman Team (1983)
Stats   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg at
Stats at

Tod James Murphy (born December 24, 1963) is an American college basketball coach and retired professional basketball player. Since 2009, Murphy has been the head coach at Gordon College, [1] [2] leading the Fighting Scots to two Commonwealth Coast Conference championships, the first coming in his first season with the team (2009–10) and the second in 2013–14. [3]


Murphy played five seasons of professional basketball in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the third round (53rd overall) of the 1986 NBA draft. A 6'9" center-forward from the University of California, Irvine, Murphy played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors over the course of his NBA career. He played in a total of 191 NBA games and scored 1,049 career points. On March 17, 1990, as a member of the Timberwolves, he scored a career-high 24 points against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Prior to his tenure at Gordon, Murphy served as an assistant coach for University of California, Riverside, as well as his alma mater at UC Irvine. [4] [5] [6]

Professional career

NBA draft and debut (1986–87)

After graduating from UC Irvine, Murphy was selected 53rd overall in the third round of the 1986 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. [7] After being cut during training camp, he began playing overseas in the Italian League; however, he began sustaining knee cartilage damage in an exhibition game only eight days after his arrival in Europe. [8] He returned home to the United States for surgery, [8] attending several UC Irvine games as a volunteer assistant coach. [9] The following year, Murphy was signed by the Los Angeles Clippers [10] at the beginning of the 1987–88 season as a replacement for Michael Cage, who was a holdout. [11] Murphy played 19 minutes in the opening game of the season [7] but was cut once Cage reagreed to terms with the team. [11]

CBA championship MVP (1987–89)

After missing two months with mononucleosis, Murphy then signed with the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for the remainder of the 1987–88 season. The Patroons would go on to win the 1988 CBA championship, [12] while Murphy ended the season as the most valuable player of the CBA championship series. [11] Towards the end of the season, Murphy earned an offer from the Golden State Warriors to join the team for the final 16 days of the NBA season, but declined the offer to focus on winning the CBA title. [8] Murphy later recalled of the situation, "To play in the NBA was my lifetime dream and I couldn't have passed it up. But we were right in the middle of the playoffs and I wanted to win the championship so badly... So I stayed." [13] He received tryout camp invitations from both the Warriors and Boston Celtics in the 1988 offseason, but was not offered a regular-season contract by either team. [11] Murphy spent the 1988–89 season playing in Spain for BBV Collado Villalba. He played in all 36 games for the team, averaging 18.6 points and 9.5 rebounds in 37.1 minutes per game. [14]

Breakout years with Minnesota Timberwolves (1989–92)

During the summer of 1989, the Minnesota Timberwolves, who were one of two new expansion teams for the 1989–90 NBA season invited Murphy to a free agent camp and a rookie camp in June and July respectively. [11] On August 16, 1989, Murphy signed a one-year contract with the team. [11] Murphy said that he considered his opportunity with the Timberwolves "one more chance" to launch his NBA career, adding, "If it doesn't work out this time, I'll make a career overseas." [11]

The Timberwolves began their season with only five victories in their first 26 games, [15] leading Timberwolves head coach Bill Musselman to make some rotation changes, which included inserting Murphy into the starting lineup. [16] Murphy played the rest of the season as a regular starter, setting a then-team record on January 2 with 20 rebounds in a game against the Clippers. [7] [16] On March 17, Murphy set a career-high by scoring 24 points against the Los Angeles Lakers, a game the Timberwolves narrowly lost (101–99). [17] Despite some minor injuries (leading the Los Angeles Times ' Mike Penner to call him "Minnesota's man of 10,000 aches"), [16] Murphy played in all 82 games of the Timberwolves' inaugural season. [18]

Move to Houston, injury (1992–93)

After being waived by Minnesota, Murphy joined the Houston Rockets for an offseason workout and signed with the team before the 1992–93 season began. However, early in his tenure with the team, he suffered a recurring hamstring injury, forcing him to miss most of the season. [13] Murphy eventually recovered for the final two months of the season but never played a game for the Rockets as the team did not want to lose their chemistry. [13] He earned $500,000 from his contract with Houston. [13]

Return to CBA, brief stints with Detroit, Golden State (1993–94)

Murphy participated in offseason tryouts with the Clippers and Charlotte Hornets but failed to receive a spot on either roster. [13] He eventually returned to the CBA with the Rochester Renegade, who acquired him in November. [19] The move reunited him with Musselman. [20] Murphy received a call-up from the Detroit Pistons on December 16. [21] He was waived by the team on January 6. [22] Murphy then signed a ten-day contract with the Warriors on January 17 [23] as a replacement for Byron Houston after Houston suffered a sprained ankle. [24]

Final years as a player (1994–98)

Murphy spent his final seasons playing for teams in Italy, Greece, Spain, and Japan. [25] He returned to Italy to join Kleenex Pistoia for the remainder of 1994. He then joined Valvi Girona in Spain for the 1994–95 season. [26] After a brief stint in Greece, Murphy spent the following season (1995–96) with Italy's Virtus Roma. [27] His final two seasons came with the Daiwa Securities Hot Blizzards in Japan, where he played until his retirement in 1998. [27]

NBA career statistics

  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage 3P%  3-point field goal percentage FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game APG  Assists per game SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

Regular season

1987–88 L.A. Clippers 1019.01.000-.7502.
1989–90 Minnesota 825930.4.471.372.7096.
1990–91 Minnesota 521920.4.396.059.6674.
1991–92 Minnesota 4739.1.488.500.5992.
1993–94 Detroit 708.1.500-.5001.
1993–94 Golden State 205.0---.

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  1. "Tod Murphy Named New Gordon College Basketball Coach" (Press release). Wenham, Massachusetts: Gordon College Athletics. June 16, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  2. McClelland, Peter (August 28, 2009). "Meeting New Coach Tod Murphy". Writing Scots. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  3. "Men's Basketball Past Champions". Commonwealth Coast Conference. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  4. "Men's Basketball: Tod Murphy". PrestoSports. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012.
  5. Virgen, Steve (April 18, 2003). "Former Anteater basketball standout returns to UCI as assistant". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Media. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  6. "Where Are They Now? Tod Murphy". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. February 28, 2005. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  7. 1 2 3 Knutson, Kim (February 27, 1990). "Tod Murphy: Nice Guys Finish First". Timberwolves Tonight. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  8. 1 2 3 Weyler, John (May 20, 1988). "Tod Murphy: Former Irvine Star Hopes to Come Back to NBA After a Strong Season With Albany Patroons". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Media. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  9. Penner, Mike (January 29, 1987). "Tod Murphy's Out of Miracles, So...: UC Irvine Has to Find a New Way to Pull Off an Upset of Las Vegas". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved February 22, 2019. His eligibility exhausted, Murphy attends Irvine games in street clothes as a volunteer assistant coach.
  10. "Brooks, Murphy Sign NBA Contracts". Los Angeles Times . Tribune Media. October 9, 1987. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Foster, Chris (August 17, 1989). "NBA Timberwolves Sign Tod Murphy". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Media. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  12. MacAdam, Mike (September 19, 2018). "Documentary captures fun, spirit of 1982-92 Albany Patroons". The Daily Gazette . Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 Weyler, John (October 10, 1993). "Ex-UCI Athlete Puts a New Spin on Murphy's Law". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  14. "1988-89 Stats - BBV Villalba". Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  15. "Minnesota Timberwolves 1989–90 Game Log and Scores". Archived from the original on October 12, 2012.
  16. 1 2 3 Penner, Mike (March 5, 1990). "Murphy's Howl Now Has Bite". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  17. "Los Angeles Lakes 101, Minnesota 99". Minneapolis, Minnesota: United Press International. March 17, 1990. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  18. Penner, Mike (October 29, 1990). "How About Minnesota Anteaters?". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  19. "After eight years, McPherson is back in the CBA". Post Bulletin. November 10, 1993. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  20. "Murphy glad he's back with Musselman". Post Bulletin. December 1, 1993. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  21. "Bingo dominates the floor in narrow Renegade loss". Post Bulletin. December 17, 1993. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  22. "Transactions". The New York Times. January 6, 1994. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  23. "Transactions". The New York Times. January 17, 1994. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  24. "NBA -- Radja-Led Celtics Turn Back Nuggets, Snap Home Slide". The Seattle Times . Associated Press. January 17, 1994. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  25. Grenier, Mike (July 23, 2009). "New coach has NBA connection". The Salem News. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  26. "Tod Murphy jugará con el Valvi Girona". El País. August 3, 1994. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  27. 1 2 "UC Riverside Hires New Men's Assistant Coach, Tod Murphy". UC Riverside (Press release). SoCalHoops. September 20, 2001. Retrieved February 16, 2019.