A familiar name around Chapman Athletics, Gregg Murphy just finished his 15th season as the Associate Head Coach of the Santa Clara University women’s soccer team. That’s right – the team that just won the 2020 National Championship back in May. To get to know Gregg a little better, we have to re-wind to his glory days in Orange, California.
A four-year letterwinner (1981-84) for the Panthers, Murphy was named to Chapman University’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. He earned all-conference honors three times and All-America honors twice. In 1984 he played for the West Regional team and was named an alternate to the U.S. National Universities Team. He remains one of Chapman’s all-time leading scorers with 24 goals, 12 assists, and 60 career points. Upon graduation, Murphy played two seasons with the Los Angeles Lazers reserve team of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL).
Pretty impressive resume. And to think it only got more impressive from there.
Just six years after graduating, Greggs collegiate coaching career brought him right back to Chapman, where he became the full-time coach of the women’s program in 1990. He gradually built the program into one of the most successful in the region. He guided the team to its first winning season in 1992 and followed with four consecutive winning campaigns. The 1994 squad finished with a 13-6 overall record competing as an NCAA Division III independent, while the 1995 squad posted a school-best 13-5 record and was ranked third in the West Region.
Gregg did all of that while also running the men’s soccer program at Chapman. On that side, he inherited a struggling program in 1990, but increased its win total each season, capping the program’s rise in 1995 with a 17-4-1 record and a trip to the 1995 NCAA Division III Final Four. For his efforts, Murphy was named the 1995 West Region Coach of the Year.
After finding such success at the Division III level, Gregg moved on to Division-1 LMU for 11 years before eventually landing at Santa Clara in 2007, where he has spent the last decade and a half. A decade and a half that has culminated in the highest honor for a collegiate team – a National Championship title.
The 2020 NCAA Tournament is a bit confusing – it was played in April/May of 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic forced colleges and universities to shut down in the fall of 2020, when the tournament would have normally been played. As the country started to open up in early 2021, NCAA opted to host the prestigious tournament 6 months later than originally planned.
With a shortened season, the Broncos (11-1) finished their run to a second national championship with a 4-1 decision in penalty kicks, after a 1-1 tie, over top-seeded Florida State (13-1-2) in the NCAA Tournament final in Cary, North Carolina to take home the trophy after a long 19 years.
“I have always said, whether it was at Chapman, LMU and even now SCU, the thing I have always enjoyed the most is the process. The process of getting better, growing as individuals and growing together as a team, to get better and better each day, to become the best version of themselves. And that is how I feel coming off the National Championship, especially navigating the COVID year. I am so impressed with how our girls handled all the twist and turns, ups and adversity that COVID threw their way. I am so proud of our team and so happy for them that they came out on top, and so impressed with how they went about the process of winning the championship!”
Chapman Athletics cannot wait to see Gregg’s success in the future!