Keith Murphy begins his second year at Southern after spending the last four years at New Mexico State, where he coached tight ends and special teams.
In his first season at Southern Illinois, Murphy's tight ends and special teams units saw nearly unprecedented success. Tight End MyCole Pruitt earned consensus first-team All-America honors after leading all Division I tight ends in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. After the season, Pruitt was drafted in the fifth round by the Minnesota Vikings.
In special teams, SIU ranked second in the MVFC in both punt return and kick return average. Both of Southern's return specialists, LaSteven McKinney and Tay Willis, earned All-Conference recognition after the season. Both players ranked second individually in the MVFC in punt and kick return average, respectively. Willis set a school record for kick return yards in a season. McKinney ranks ninth nationally in punt return average, and Willis ranked 16th nationally in kick return average.
At NMSU, Murphy helped Aggies' kick returner Taveon Rogers to an All-American season in 2011. Rogers was named a first team All-WAC kick returner and ranked second in the nation in all-purpose yards per game with 196.3.
Prior to NM State, Murphy was the assistant special teams coach for the St. Louis Rams as well as the Rams' offensive quality control coach from 2007-08.
From 1999 to 2006, Murphy coached wide receivers and special teams at Eastern Washington, tutoring the top two receivers in school history in Eric Kimble and Lamont Brightful. Kimble tallied 46 touchdowns -- second in FCS history behind only legendary Jerry Rice. Brightful was an All-American kickoff returner who went on to spend three seasons in the NFL
Prior to Eastern, Murphy served as a graduate assistant at Washington, working with wide receivers, quarterbacks and special teams (1997-98).
Murphy played for the Huskies as a wide receiver and special teams player, and was a member of two Pac-10 championship teams (1992 & 95) and participaated as a player or coach in five bowl games -- the 1998 Oahu Bowl, 1997 Aloha Bowl, 1996 Holiday Bowl, 1995 Sun Bowl and the 1993 Rose Bowl (following the 1992 season).
Murphy is a 1992 graduate of Mt. Rainier High School in Seattle, Wash., where he competed in football, basketball, soccer and track. He is a native of Seattle, Wash. He and his wife, Carrie, have a daughter, Lexi Rose and a son, Trey Vinh.