An excellent crowd came to Mineral Point High School Friday, September 10 for the dedication of Ron Murphy Field before the football game vs. Black Hawk/Warren, which the Pointers won 22-16.
Vickie Dahl and Ted Evans both delivered remarks at the event, which can be found below:
MPHS Athletic Director
Welcome to this special evening for the dedication of Ron Murphy Field. It is an honor to be here tonight to celebrate Coach Murphy. Joining us in this celebration is Coach Murphy’s wife Linda, his three sons Pat, Mike, and Brian, along with their families. We also have some of his coaching colleagues here this evening.
It is an emotional night for many of us as we make it official in naming the football field Ron Murphy Field. If I could direct your attention to the sign on the scoreboard in the north endzone and then to the sign on the press box.
Whether he was your coach, your teacher, your colleague, or your friend, I’m sure you have a special memory of Coach Murphy. Ron Murphy Field is a wonderful tribute to Coach Murphy’s legacy.
I would like to introduce you to Ted Evans, who coached with Ron for many years.
Retired MPHS Principal
Good evening and welcome to all of you in attendance for tonight’s contest between the Black Hawk/Warren Warriors and our Mineral Point Pointers. For those of you who may not know me, I am Ted Evans, longtime friend of Ron Murphy. As many of you know, tonight is a historical and sentimental night as we come together to dedicate this game field in memory of a great coach and an even better person. I would be remiss not to mention the Murphy brothers. Dennis coached very successfully with the Black Hawk teams and older brother Ron experienced similar success with his Mineral Point teams.
The Murphy family is excited to be here for tonight’s dedication and I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge his wife Linda, and sons Pat, Mike, and Brian and their families and friends who are here tonight.
I would also like to recognize the former coaches and players of Coach Murphy who are in attendance tonight — who know and appreciate all that Coach Murphy did for them. Coach Murphy was a fierce competitor but when the game was over, you humbly accepted defeat or victory. For those players and coaches here tonight, please stand.
Coach Ron Murphy has been on the sideline or in the stands for Mineral Point football games dating back to 1964. This is the first season that Coach is not visibly here with us. But I assure you of one thing tonight, he is pacing the sidelines, he’s getting ready for the kickoff of tonight’s game. He wants so badly for the Pointers to find a way to get it done.
Coach Murphy always stressed that it was important to be better today, no mention of yesterday nor looking forward to tomorrow. Be better today, whether it be on the athletic field, in the classroom, or everyday life, simply be a better person today.
He wanted his players to perform above and beyond and worked with them to do just that, to be better. My hope is that every person, athlete, or fan share what Coach Murphy emphasized — to work hard and to be a better person today. Wins on the athletic field will take care of themselves if everyone works together as a team. Coach stressed to play hard, give it your best, but do it the right way, no cheap shots, just find a way and get it done.
Coach had a favorite quote, “Every day you get a little bit better or a little worse but you never stay the same.” A quote that still rings true today.
I am very proud to have known Ron, to have coached with him, and to call him a good friend. And now, even more proud to stand with Linda, Pat, Mike, Brian, and their families and friends to officially name this field Ron Murphy Field. Let the legacy of Coach Murphy live on with the dedication of this football field in his name, to be better today, to play hard in athletics and everyday life, “Do it the right way.”
The School Board unanimously approved a request from Ted Evans and the Alumni Group to name the field in Murphy’s honor at its January 2021 meeting.
Ron grew up in Dodgeville, attending Dodgeville High School where he excelled on both the baseball diamond and football field, earning first team all-state honors in football in 1958. After graduation in 1959, Ron went on to play football at UW-Platteville and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Education in 1964. He received his Master’s Degree from Winona State in 1970. He married the love of his life, Linda Lieder, on June 8, 1968 and the two of them raised three sons (Pat, Mike, and Brian) and enjoyed a strong faith-based marriage of 52 incredible years through the time of his passing in November 2020.
Ron was a beloved teacher in the Mineral Point Unified School District for 37 years, teaching Physical Education and Driver’s Education. After his retirement from teaching in 2002, he continued to be the Driver’s Ed instructor through 2013.
Although Ron was an amazing teacher, most people in Mineral Point remember him as Coach Murphy. During his time at Mineral Point High School, he spent five years coaching JV basketball and 30 years as the assistant baseball coach. He also coached Little League baseball.
Coach Murphy is most well-known for being the head football coach at Mineral Point High School, a position he held for 32 years until his retirement from coaching in 2000. He was a dedicated coach who taught his players the value of teamwork, discipline, and how to play the game the right way. In 1989, Ron was selected as an assistant coach for the North-South Shrine Bowl football game. The Pointers won the 1991 conference championship and qualified for the WIAA playoffs ten times under Murphy’s guidance — 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999 finishing as state runner-up in Division 6.
In 2000, Ron was inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, along with his brother, Dennis, the head coach at Black Hawk High School. Shortly after in 2005, Ron became a charter member of the Mineral Point Gridiron Hall of Fame. Then in 2011, Ron was inducted into the Dodgeville Athletic Hall of Fame.