June 16, 1998
DURHAM, N.C. - Fourth-year ASU head coach Pat Murphy has been named Baseball America's Collegiate Coach of the Year after guiding the Sun Devils back to the College World Series for the first time since 1994 and to their highest finish, second, since 1988. ASU finished the 1998 season with a 41-23 record.
Faced with a challenging schedule that included 30 games against 1998 NCAA regional participants, ASU responded with the intensity and fundamental play characteristic of Murphy's teams. The Sun Devils went to Wichita, Kan., for the Midwest regional as a No. 3 seed and won the regional for a trip to Omaha.
"I'm humbled and overwhelmed by the award," Murphy said. "Coaches don't like to get awards. Awards are for players. You get your satisfaction from watching them do things the right way on the field."
Murphy's first appearance at the College World Series has been, to this point, the peak of his career. He got his start as a player at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla., and was a member of the school's first baseball team. His first coaching job was at Maryville (Tenn.) College at the age of 24, and he moved on to Division III Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) College for two years before coaching at Notre Dame for seven seasons. He became coach at Arizona State in 1995 and has compiled a record of 149-87 (.631) in Tempe.
The Six-Pac swept Baseball America's postseason honors as Stanford's Jeff Austin was named the College Player of the Year earlier this month and California's Xavier Nady was selected as the Freshman of the Year.