Keith Murphy
    Keith  Murphy

    Position:
    Tight Ends/Special Teams

    Alma Mater:
    Washington, 1997

    Experience:
    2nd Season (2015)


    Keith Murphy has completed his second season at Southern after spending the previous 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. In addition, long snapper Thor Hadfield was a second-team All-MVFC honoree.

    In Murphy's second season, the Salukis blocked seven kicks, which led the MVFC and ranked fifth nationally. Chase Allen and Brandon Williams each blocked three and each made the All-MVFC team. Allen was named MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking two kicks in the fourth quarter in a win over Youngstown State. Kicker Austin Johnson also earned a MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week honor after going 2-for-2 on field goals and 4-for-4 on PATs in SIU's win over No. 10 Liberty.

    Daquan Isom led the conference in kick return average (23.4 per return), and Murphy helped spring Isom for two kick returns of more than 50 yards. Punter Derek Mathewson's punting average was 43.1 per punt, which ranks fifth in SIU history. Isom was a second-team All-MVFC selection as a return specialist, and Mathewson was an honorable mention selection. Tight end Adam Fuehne set career highs in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns in 2015 and earned second-team All-MVFC honors.

    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.