In the fall of 2017, the Porkers will take to the field without head coach Marianne Murphy, a figure who has been a staple in the Porkers’ program for over 15 years. Since 2001, Murphy has helped the Porkers to five State Championships — 2002, 2004, 2006, 2013 and 2016 as head coach. She was the assistant varsity coach in 2001, and took over the program in 2002. Following years of success with the team, Murphy will retire from her position as head coach of Walpole’s field hockey team.
“Murph inspired her players to work hard and be the best we could be, and this motivation is the reason why all of her teams were successful,” said senior captain Melanie Weber after spending four years on varsity.
Being the head coach for many years, Murphy has impacted numerous athletes that participated in the field hockey program.
“High school sports provides student athletes with an opportunity to work together as a unit to achieve individual and team goals, and these girls become more confident and composed individuals,” said Murphy.
“They become leaders and learn how to adjust and handle many difficult situations. There are many life lessons that they endure during their time as student athletes and they will carry them out into the real world.”
In her time as head coach, Murphy has had over 40 girls move on to play field hockey at the collegiate level with at least half playing Division I. Additionally, the Boston Globe named Murphy Coach of the Year in the years 2006 and 2013 and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association awarded Murphy the Northeast Regional Coach of the Year in 2010.
A large part of Murphy’s success with the Porkers extended from her own accomplishments in her years at Bentley College, now Bentley University. Graduating in 1980, Murphy was the second leading scorer for the college’s field hockey team for many years and was inducted into the Bentley College Hall of Fame in 1991.
Despite Murphy’s retirement from Walpole High’s field hockey program, her persistence in achieving excellence and morals will continue to impact the team in the years to come.
“Being the coach of a program with a tradition of excellence holds both players and coaches accountable. Without high expectations one would be complacent and accept mediocrity,” said Murphy. “We all have the desire to win, the will to succeed and constantly look to keep abreast of new ideas and skills involved with field hockey. Many programs would love to have the traditions and winning attitude that the Walpole program has continued to carry on for over 40 years. This is a program that we are all very proud of.”