BREAKING NEWS: Maranatha’s Joel Murphy resigns

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

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  • Kristen

    Mr. Murphy is a great coach and a great teacher. He had a lot of fun coaching the football team because they are like family to him. Thank you Mr. Murphy for being an amazing football coach. God bless!!!

  • Mark

    Hi Miguel:

    Love the blog and your coverage but I’m very frustrated by the lack of follow up. Any thing new on Mike Mooney? Who is replacing him at San Marino? What’s the story with Ed Smith at South Pas? Who is replacing him? Any candidates at Maranantha?

  • bigfatfan

    SPHS is in the process of receiving applications from interested external candidates for its head coaching position. they hope to screen and interview candidates next month

  • Go Saints

    Murphy was afraid of the Wing-T. The 42 unanswered points he gave up in the 1st half to SD haunted him into making this decision. Looks like Coach Z retired another coach just like Hernandez @ South El Monte and his predissesor. Who’s next? Thomas, Podley, Heggins….

  • echo0756

    Go Saints – Clearly you aren’t close to the situation. Coach Murphy’s decision was under consideration LONG before that game was even on the calendar. His letter of resignation reflects the truth. I wish him the same success in his new promotion as he experienced in the football arena.

  • Impressed Fan

    Say what you will, but Coach Murphy is a tremendous coach, and excellent role model for high school students, and an all around great person. I admire him for having the courage to step down from a position to pursue other opportunities in his life. I wish him nothing but the best as he strives to be the best Director of Student Ministries he can at Maranatha.

  • natha11

    go saints: don’t flatter yourself. you’re not around him and see him every day like we do, and if you were, you would understand his position. the 63-0 loss to st margarets in the semis two years ago didnt faze him, and neither did this. actually, it would be more like him to take on the challenge of getting better every year in the mid valley to finally get to the point where we could beat you guys and be up there with the monrovias and the whittier Christians. not to mention elffers is only going to be a junior next year too, so that would have only made it a more difficult decision to step down.

  • laughing at Go Saints

    Coach Z retiring Thomas? Really? Covina is 6-4 over SD in the last 10 years INCLUDING this years slapping. I bet Thomas is just shaking in his boots as you read this….
    Did not Heggins beat your butts this season too?

  • Go Saints

    Hey dumbass before you post facts you might want to look some stuff up. Z just finished his 6th season @ San Dimas. So your last 10 games against SD comment makes no sense. Also, Z owned Thomas when he was @ Northview. I think he only lost once or twice to him when he was there.

  • FBFAn

    Really Go Saints. Heggins, Thomas, and Podley all beat Z last year.

  • el tigre

    How can this even be news with a great coach like Ed Smith retiring.

  • natha11

    what’s smith’s record over the last five years?
    yeah. exactly.

  • Money

    What type of money would a school like Maranatha pay their head coach? It being a private school and all, would it be better or worse than that of public schools?

  • lazyboy62

    I don’t think they pay their coaches very well at all. The school was lucky to have a coach as good as Murphy for as long as they did. I just hope they find a qualified replacement that keeps the program moving forward.