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Former players and alumni gathered on Dec. 9 for the dedication of the Coach Tom Murphy Court.
Tom Murphy
Coach Tom Murphy acknowledge the crowd during the postgame ceremony. (watch dedication)
It came as no surprise when the Hamilton men’s basketball team defeated St. John Fisher 84-77 on Dec. 9. After all, former Coach Tom Murphy was in attendance.

Murphy is the winningest coach in Hamilton intercollegiate sports history. He coached the men’s basketball team for 34 seasons from 1970 to 2004, amassing a record of 602-262. Nearly 200 of his former players and fellow alumni gathered at the game and for a celebratory dinner to honor their coach and mentor as Hamilton’s basketball facility was officially christened the Tom Murphy Court.

“It’s been said that good coaches make good players, but great coaches make great individuals, and that’s a testament to all that you’ve done and the number of people who have come back here [today],” said Jack Withiam ’71, who served as captain of Murphy’s first team, to those gathered at the postgame dedication.

In his more than three decades as the Continentals head coach, Murphy posted 15 seasons of 20 or more wins. He coached 13 All-Americans and was twice named the Division III Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. In 1998, Murphy was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame.

“It’s been said that good coaches make good players, but great coaches make great individuals, and that’s a testament to all that you’ve done and the number of people who have come back here [today].”

Accolades aside, Murphy acknowledged to those gathered at the dedication that he was never a good X’s and O’s coach (although this was refuted by longtime friend and coaching colleague Bill Coen ’83 in a heartfelt speech to conclude the dinner). For Murphy, success came to be measured not in wins and losses, but in the relationships made over the years with his players, fellow coaches, and their families.

Athletics Director Jon Hind ’80 noted that “Murph” always believed his players’ success in the classroom and later in life has been his greatest reward.

In addition to naming the Murphy Court, located in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House, alumni raised more than $1 million to establish an endowed fund for the men’s and women’s basketball program. With gratitude, the College recognizes John Klauberg ’78, A.G. Lafley ’69, Phil Robinson ’82, Mike Seitzinger ’69, Jack Selby ’96, and Withiam, who were instrumental in the effort to recognize Murphy and establish meaningful and lasting resources to further enhance Hamilton basketball.

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