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Building A Championship Culture

Patrick Murphy
Head Softball Coach, The University of Alabama

2012 National Champions, 11 Women’s College World Series Berths, 5 SEC Titles

In today’s world of collegiate athletics, few can claim to have been at a program since the beginning. Not many can say they were there at the origin of a program, having been present from the very inception to where it stands today. And certainly nobody can claim to have brought a program further, and in shorter time, than Crimson Tide head softball coach Patrick Murphy, entering his 22th season as the program’s leader in 2020.

 

From a humble start to a national championship, Murphy has taken Alabama to the top of the college softball world. Beginning with his days as an assistant in the very first years of the Alabama softball program, Murphy has emerged as the face of a team that has grown under his leadership to become one of the most consistently successful programs in the nation.

 

MUDITA: Having vicarious joy in someone else’s success. There’s not an English word that equals that. There are English words that are opposite: envy and jealousy. Those two words are 'dirty words' in a team sport.

 

The accomplishments are there for everyone to see. A 2012 National Championship, 11 Women’s College World Series berths, five SEC regular season titles, five SEC Tournament titles and 18-straight NCAA Tournament bids are only a few of the team honors that Murphy has brought to Tuscaloosa during his tenure.

 

The individual honors are equally as impressive. Tide players have earned All-America honors 98 times under Murphy’s watch. He has tutored 94 All-SEC performers and 88 NFCA All-Region honorees. His teams have been just as successful in the classroom, with 21 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and 198 SEC All-Academic selections.

 

What is most impressive about all of those accomplishments is that Murphy will be the first to tell you that he didn’t do it alone. He credits every player, coach, manager, athletic trainer, equipment manager, administrator – you name it – for the lasting success the Alabama Softball program has experienced. You are going to get a ton out of this episode about leading young people, dveloping a championship culture in your organization, sports team, or even your family. Simply put, Murph is the best!

SHOW NOTES (TIMESTAMPED TO VIDEO)

 

1:00 – Coach Murphy’s upbringing in Iowa and the things that began to shape his philosophy

 

2:15 – Why softball?

 

5:40 – How Coach Murphy became the head softball coach at Alabama

 

7:40 – The first time benching a 4-time All-American

 

9:20 – Pieces of advice for young coaches

 

12:15 – Setting expectations in the first team meeting of the year

 

14:00 – A very specific question Coach Murphy asks ALL recruits

 

17:00 – Developing leadership traits amongst team members and enhancing team culture

 

21:15 – Is there a player he wishes he would have coached differently?

 

24:10 – How the pressure to win affects the overall culture

 

27:40 – How do you stay the course after a bad year or year that does not live up to your standard?

 

32:00 – The story behind Alabama’s magical run to the 2019 Women’s College World Series

 

34:20 – How does Coach Murphy stay motivated after 24 years?

 

36:20 – Bringing in baseball experts to teach the game in a different way

 

37:35 – Learning from different national championship coaches on Alabama’s campus

 

41:30 – The concept of Mudita and how it has transformed Alabama’s program

I tell our girls not to listen to how loud the message is…just listen to the message. It’s not about feelings. It’s about principles. Principles over feelings.
The role of leader supersedes that of (the role of) friend.
Be an All-American at taking a butt-chewing.

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