Nov. 8, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - Less than three months after signing an extension that will keep him as the Sun Devils' head baseball coach through at least 2011, Pat Murphy has announced that he will donate $100,000 back to the Arizona State University baseball program to help fund facility improvements.
"I'm very honored and privileged to be the head baseball coach at Arizona State University," said Murphy. "I'm fortunate to be a part of a program that touches so many people. The rich history and tradition of Sun Devil baseball includes all of the former student-athletes, coaches, fans and our incredible group of supporters. I realize how fortunate I am every day."
The donation will be used to fund the "Tillman Room" in honor of brothers Pat and Kevin Tillman. Kevin was a member of the Sun Devil baseball team from 1997-99. During those years, Murphy and Pat became close, as Pat would frequently attend baseball games and practices in support of his younger brother, Kevin. The sports medicine room inside the baseball clubhouse will carry the theme of the "Tillman Room" and serve as an area to inspire and pay tribute to these American heroes.
"Pat and Kevin Tillman exemplify teamwork, discipline, sacrifice and hard work." said Murphy. "I'm very proud of our connection with these men and hope that the Tillman Room will serve as a source of inspiration for our student-athletes for years to come. Their story is very close to our program and I felt this was a fitting way to pay tribute and say `Thank You'."
Coach Murphy approached Pat and Kevin's mother, Mary, with the idea earlier this spring.
"I think this is a wonderful idea by Coach Murphy and our family is very appreciative of his gesture," said Tillman. "Pat and Kevin were very close and shared some wonderful memories together at ASU. I know this room will mean a great deal to Kevin and Pat would certainly appreciate it as well. I'm touched that both will be represented together in the Tillman Room."
Coach Murphy's donation is the latest in a series of significant gifts geared towards completing the renovation of Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. This past spring, the family of the late Dr. Jim Brock made a significant contribution that will also be used for facility improvements. The final phase of renovations to the ballpark will include a shade canopy, press box expansion, installation of chairback seats throughout the stadium, and several alumni tribute areas throughout the concourse area.
"This is an unprecedented gesture from Coach Murphy," said Vice President of University Athletics Lisa Love. "When he first approached me with this idea, I was very excited. It really shows his strong commitment to Arizona State University and the Sun Devil baseball program. I hope others will follow suit and help us put the funding in place to complete the renovation of our ballpark."
"Coach Murphy is a leader and understands the value of setting an example," added University President Dr. Michael Crow. "This personal investment in the baseball program shows his total commitment to Sun Devil competitiveness at a national level".
ASU plans to have the Tillman Room completed by January 1, 2007. A formal capital campaign to complete the fundraising for the final phase of ballpark renovations will be announced in the coming months.