Tim Murphy, the Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, will be part of a small envoy of college head coaches to visit American service men and women overseas as part of third-annual USO/ Morale Entertainment Coaches Tour 2010. The USO will be joined by Armed Forces Entertainment and Morale Entertainment as presenters of this year’s tour.
Murphy and four other coaches will embark on a week-long trip that will include stops at McConnell and Scott Air Force bases before going oversees for visits to eight countries in nine days with visits to bases and vessels among others. Upon returning stateside at Andrews Air Force Base, the group anticipates a visit to the White House.
The purpose of the trip is to essentially provide service men and women with a break from the rigors of active duty while providing a temporary outlet of something sports-related.
“This was not something I had to think about and I committed to it on the spot,” said Murphy. “We have two recent Harvard Football players who are at Camp Pendleton (Calif.) as Marine Corp officers awaiting deployment to Afghanistan and it's the least I can do to show my support for them and all the brave men and women of our armed forces.”
Murphy will be joined on the trip by Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, Illinois coach Ron Zook, Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville and West Point head coach Rich Ellerson. Murphy and Kelly were recently guest lecturers at the USC Coach of the Year Clinic at The Galen Center Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif.
The Coaches Tour is flown primarily on a KC-135 Stratotanker. This is a four engine trans-continental aircraft whose primary mission is aerial refueling. Among the aircraft’s many abilities, it can transport passengers, carry cargo and serve as an aero medical platform for evacuation of injured, sick and wounded personnel. The KC-135 has been the workhouse of the Air Force for over fifty years and over 500 of the aircraft are still in use today.
The Coaches Tour has touched over 40,000 troops to date. It is anticipated that the 2010 edition will provide the opportunity to meet and interact with 15,000 to 20,000 service members during our mission this year.
The schedule of daily events downrange includes autograph and photo sessions with the Coaches. Panel discussions with the Coaches and individual meet and greet opportunities and flag football games, as well as skill competitions and athletic combines are once again being planned.
The Coaches Tour 2010 will be supported by the USO as a new partner. Under Armour will again be a tour sponsor and a representative from the Wounded Warrior Project has been invited to accompany the Coaches Tour 2010.
American Airlines will be providing both domestic and international support for the Coaches Tour 2010 from their office of Veterans and Military Initiatives.
As in the past, the Coaches will distribute literally tons of donated athletic apparel and university branded items from the schools and sponsors associated with the Coaches Tour to our troops overseas. Additionally, American Airlines will be providing passenger vouchers for no cost air transportation to outstanding members of the Armed Services in gratitude for their continued service to the United States
By any measure, Tim Murphy has led Harvard's storied football program to its most prosperous and successful era since the early 20th century - a trend he hopes to continue into 2010 as he enters his 17th year as the Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football.
One of the game's finest teachers and motivators, Murphy took charge of the Harvard program prior to the 1994 season and has since led the program to a dominant state within the Football Championship Subdivision.
After accumulating a 9-1 overall record in 2008 and a 7-3 record in 2009, Harvard continued its stretch as the first and only team in Ivy League history to record nine consecutive seasons with at least seven victories. Harvard's current stretch is the program's best nine-year run since a 28-year stretch of seven-plus win seasons came to an end in 1911.
Harvard finished the decade as the second-winningest team in the FCS (76-23, .768) and the eighth-winningest team in all of Division I – behind only Texas, Boise State, Montana, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Florida and LSU.
He is the first Harvard coach since the legendary Percy Haughton to lead the Crimson to two unbeaten, untied seasons in his tenure. The 2008 season culminated in Harvard's fifth Ivy League championship under Murphy (13th overall), its second consecutive Ivy crown, and the third in five seasons. The 2008 Crimson finished the year ranked 14th in the FCS Coaches Poll and continued a tradition of winning never before seen in the storied Ivy League.
Head Football Coaches who have participated include: (Affiliation at time of Tour)
Mack Brown – University of Texas -2009
Troy Calhoun – Air Force Academy-2009
Jim Grobe – Wake Forest University-2009
Rick Neuheisel – University of California at Los Angeles-2009
Houston Nutt – University of Mississippi-2009
Mark Richt – University of Georgia-2008
Randy Shannon – University of Miami-2008
Jack Siedlecki – Yale University-2008
Jim Tressel – The Ohio State University-2009
Tommy Tuberville – Auburn University-2008 (also as Coach Emeritus in 2009)
Charlie Weis – University of Notre Dame-2008