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Murphy steps down at Seymour after 33 seasons, 615 wins and 3 state titles

07/29/2020, 2:45pm CDT
By Mark Miller

Thirty-three seasons.

615 victories.

15 conference titles.

Three WIAA state championships. 

Those are the numbers some will remember about Seymour's Jon Murphy, who announced his retired as the head boys' basketball coach at the school recently. 

But there is more to Murphy than eye-popping numbers. Much more.

"The one thing I've always taken from Jon is how much he cares about his students and players," said St. Norbert College assistant coach Corey Ciesielczyk, a 2002 Seymour graduate who played for Murphy. "His compassion off the court and wanting to be there for his players sets him apart from other coaches. 

"He has been a mentor to me as a coach and become a close personal friend. It's a sad day for me to see him retire, but he definitely deserves some time away with his family. Coach Murphy and his family are like a second family to me and my wife. To think about what he did in such a small town, it's really remarkable. In my opinion, he's one of the best coaches to ever work in the state. And he's an ever better person off the court."

The 57-year-old Murphy has coached and taught at Seymour since he turned 23, and leaving the community and school that has been so good to him over the years was not an easy decision.

But after weighing all of the pros and cons, Murphy decided now was the time to retire from both the classroom and basketball court.

"I've had an amazing run and loved every minute of it," Murphy said. "But it was time to step away. We don't know what teaching will look like or what basketball will look like this school year due to COVID-19. And my teaching position would have been half time and got moved around a bit so all of that was considered in making my decision to retire."

Murphy, who will be moving with his wife and family to Allouez, is also excited to watch his son, Riley, play college basketball at UW-Eau Claire. Riley was a starting guard for his father the last several seasons and led the Thunder to the Bay Conference title last winter. 

"I can get in the car any time now and go over to watch Riley play so that was a big factor as well," coach Murphy said. "He is one of their top recruits and is hoping to make an immediate impact so it will be fun to watch him play in college."

Murphy's first team at Seymour went 7-14 in 1987-88 and his second team wasn't any better as it finished 7-15.

But Murphy's squads then ran off 27 consecutive winning seasons, including capturing WIAA Division 2 state championships in 1997 (27-0), 2001 (22-5) and 2006 (23-3). 

Twelve of his teams participated in the WIAA State Tournament with the clubs in 2000 (25-2), 2002 (22-4), 2003 (22-4), 2004 (24-2) and 2005 (21-5) finishing second in Division 2. 

"We've had great, great kids, tremendous assistant coaches and excellent community support over the years," Murphy said. "It's kind of crazy to think I've been at the same place since I turned 23, but it's been so good for me. But now, I'll be on a different journey going forward. I'll take with me some great memories."

Murphy is one of six prep coaches in state history with 600 or more wins. The others include Jerry Petitgoue of Cuba City with 963, Bob Letsch of Racine St. Catherine's with 661, Tom Desotell of Sheboygan North with 646, Frank Schade of Oshkosh North with 610, and Tim Anderson of Auburndale with 607.

For the latest and most up to date boys' basketball news and recruiting information, follow Mark on Twitter @wisbbyearbook. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Mark by clicking here.

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