(PAINESVILLE, Ohio) – Reilly Murphy has been named the new head coach of Lake Erie football as announced by Director of Athletics Kelley Kish on Friday morning. Murphy comes to Lake Erie College after serving as the offensive coordinator for fellow Division II member Fayetteville State University.
The 2018 season saw Fayetteville State and Murphy advance to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) championship game after winning the conference's Southern Division. The Broncos ranked among the top offenses in the country with an average of 32.33 points per game while rushing for 216 yards per contest, 26th in Division II. Fayetteville State was also in contention for the NCAA playoffs after being ranked regionally before the defeat in the championship game.
"Reilly Murphy emerged from a strong pool of candidates as the right leader for Storm Football," said Kish. "His Northeast Ohio ties, strong Division II background and emphasis on academics within recruiting matches our key principles for Lake Erie Football moving forward."
Murphy's coaching career is diverse as he has coordinated offenses at private, public, and historically black colleges. He previously also served as the offensive coordinator of Dixie State University (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, DII). Before that he was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Western New Mexico University (Lone Star Conference, DII). Murphy has also coached at Bethel College (Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, NAIA), Notre Dame College (Mountain East, DII), and Grossmont College (Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, CCCAA).
"I am so grateful for this opportunity to lead the Lake Erie College football program," said Murphy. "I want to first thank our President Dr. Posler, our Vice President of Student Affairs Billie Dunn, our Athletic Director Kelley Kish, the Board of Trustees, and everyone I met with who were involved in the hiring committee. The people at Lake Erie are what makes the college so special. This is a dream come true for myself and my family. I also want to thank my wife Caylyn for her unwavering support. She inspires me every day and is truly the rock of our family. Without her none of this could have been accomplished.
"I plan on building this program into a team that our students, faculty, administration, alumni, and community will be proud of," Murphy continued. "The building process will not be easy. However, the dream can become a reality. There are so many avenues that Lake Erie College's education can provide a student-athlete that will attract them to Painesville. We are in a great location surrounded by talent-rich high schools. We plan on building this program with local talent from and around the Northeast Ohio region. Players who love football that value their degree and education will be the foundation in which we will build."
The teams he has been a part of have seen remarkable turnarounds. After helping nearby Notre Dame College start its program to being a 2018 national semifinal participant, Murphy went to Bethel and took a team that had not won a game in two years and had the worst offense in the nation to a program that broke school records for most points and yards in a season.
As a result of his success there, he was offered a position at Western New Mexico and the achievements followed. His arrival at WNMU propelled the team to national success with top 10 offenses nationally in back-to-back seasons. At Dixie State, he helped the Trailblazers record their first winning season in school history and break the school record for rushing yards in a season.
"The future is bright with Coach Murphy leading our program in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference," Kish continued. "Under his leadership we will develop campus-wide champion football student-athletes in the classroom, community and on the field. His experiences point to a standard of excellence that he will set within Storm Football to allow our program to become a point of pride for Lake Erie students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community."
In addition to his success on the field, Murphy's influence on the team to make an impact in the local community has also been prominent. His teams have often played an active role in service projects and fundraisers.
During his collegiate career, Murphy attended Grossmont where he played quarterback and led the Griffins to a national championship in 2005. He was an Academic All-American and was honored with the Joe Roth Memorial Award given annually to a California Junior College football player who best exemplifies characteristics of leadership, humility, and class. He was then granted a scholarship to play at Indiana State where he was a two-year starter and named the Gateway Conference's Newcomer of the Year in 2006.
He prepped at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego under the legendary coach Ed Burke. There he received the Falcon of the Year Award given annually to the team's most valuable player.
Reilly and his wife Caylyn recently welcomed a newborn baby boy Griffin Reilly.