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Former UT football coach Murphy dies at 88

Former Toledo football coach Jack Murphy died at the age of 88.
Former Toledo football coach Jack Murphy died at the age of 88.(University of Toledo)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 11:52 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Former University of Toledo football coach Jack Murphy, who helped lead the Rockets to a 12-0 record in 1971, died on January 9 at the age of 88.

Murphy was the Rockets head coach from 1971-76. The team’s perfect record in his first season capped off a 35-0 run from 1969-71, including a third straight Mid-American Conference title and a Tangerine Bowl win. Murphy was named MAC Coach of the Year.

“We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Coach Jack Murphy, a true Rocket legend,” Toledo Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all who knew and loved him.”

Current Rockets coach Jason Candle added, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Murphy. Coach Murphy was a great man who had a tremendous impact on the foundation of Rocket football. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Murphy joined the UT staff as an assistant coach in 1960 and rose to defensive coordinator in 1963. In five of Murphy’s last six seasons as defensive coordinator, the Rockets were in the top 10 nationally in total defense, including a No. 1 ranking in 1969.

Murphy left Toledo in 1970 to become the head coach at Heidelberg, his alma mater, but returned to assume the reins in Toledo in 1971.

Murphy was inducted into the University of Toledo’s Varsity T Hall of Fame in 1997.

A drive-thru memorial service in Lot 10 near the Glass Bowl is being planned by Murphy’s family and friends. Further information will be forthcoming when it is available.

In lieu of flowers, Murphy’s family have asked that donations be made to the Jack and Carol Murphy Fund at the University of Toledo Foundation. The fund provides scholarships for UToledo student-athletes and can be accessed online at: UTRockets.com/Murphy.

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