Joel Murphy, who spent five seasons as Maranatha’s head football coach where he compiled an impressive 47-16 record, has resigned. Murphy, in a statement, cited a new promotion as the school’s director of student ministries. In a short time, Murphy vaulted Maranatha into a local powerhouse with a finals appearance in 2006, quarterfinals in 2007, semifinals in 2008, quarterfinals in 2009 and most recently the quarterfinals in the Minutemen’s first season competing in the tough Mid-Valley Division. “We areimmensely grateful for Coach Murphy and the great distance he has brought the Maranatha football program,” Maranatha athletic director said in a statement. “Joel has infused tremendous pride in the Maranatha football program and reinvigorated our student-athletes. Coach Murphy has instilled the belief that Maranatha student athletes can be successful through hard work and dedication in any area of their life. Joel will remain at Maranatha High School but will focus on his responsibilities as Director of Student Ministries. We would like to thank the Murphy family for their dedication to the Maranatha community over the many years and we are excited for what the future holds for them. We fully trust that the Lord has great plans for Joel and will continue to use him to impact the lives of countless young people both here at Maranatha and beyond.”
Murphy in a statement said it was a privilege to be the head football coach.
“Having part of the Maranatha football program for 13 years, being the head coach for the past five years was a dream,” he said. “I literally watched the program rise from the ashes of not being able to field a varsity team to one who now sends multiple athletes to Division 1 programs. These seasons will forever be a highlight of my life. Yet, I step humbly into another season of life as I have officially stepped down as the head football coach.
“In my new position as Director of Student Ministries I have a desire and passion stirring within to create a climate of authentic community and true spiritual growth here at MHS. I long to be obedient to the position He has placed me and know that to create a program of such high caliber, the additional 30+ hours a week for football make it impossible.
“I can’t thank each of you enough for the support you’ve given me and this program. I’m confident that God has amazing things in store and am excited to see the person he brings in to run the program. Please pray for this season of transition for me, my family, and the entire football community.”
Personal note: It’s tough to see Joel go. He was gracious even before I came to work at the Star-News. He was an outstanding coach and very well respected among his colleagues and reporters alike who covered his program over the years. He will always be remembered as the coach who took a program from the bottom and worked it into a football power that it is today. The next person coming in will have some big shoes to fill. Maranatha will begin searching for their next coach immediately. Interested candidates should contact Athletic Director, Brian DeHaan, at email@example.com.