Tim Murphy Checks In From Coaches Tour 2010

Tim Murphy Checks In From Coaches Tour 2010

Photo courtesy of

Tim Murphy, the Thomas Stephenson Head Coach for Harvard Football, is embarking on a week-long journey overseas to speak with men and women of the United States military as part of the Coaches Tour 2010. 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.

Murphy is joined on the trip by Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, Illinois coach Ron Zook 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. 

Murphy is contributing periodic updates about the trip and the fourth and fifth installments are below. 

May 26
By the time this is received it will be Commencement Day in Cambridge. This is the first commencement I have missed in my 16 years at Harvard and I want to take this opportunity to once again thank all the Crimson players and parents for their contributions to Harvard Football. I hope the weather is good and that you have a memorable day. You will be gone from campus but not forgotten so please remain in close touch.

Wednesday was a special day on the tour as we flew out of Bahrain to the Aircraft Carrier USS Eisenhower somewhere in the Gulf of Oman. It was a three hour flight in a C2 aircraft which is a smaller version of the AWAC without the electronics. The C2 is the largest aircraft that can land and take off from a carrier and is used to ferry small groups such as special ops teams. Landing on a carrier is interesting because the carrier looks like not much more more than a postage stamp in a vast ocean with on a football size flight deck to land on. On the landing, the aircfraft must get hooked by one of four cables on the flight deck to stop in such a small space, so you go from about 150 miles per hour to zero in about three seconds.

We were welcomed at a reception by the Eisenhower Strike Force Admiral and Captain of the ship both of whom had been to the Kennedy School of Government.  Later we were helicoptered over to the Destroyer USS Farragut and back to visit with their sailors as well. While participating in an autograph session for the crew, I met Jeremy Gordon, cousin of Harvard All-Ivy running back Gino Gordon which just goes to show that its a small world when it comes to Harvard.

Once again we are all so impressed with the level of expertise, professionalism and pride that our armed services personnel go about their jobs.

The visit to the Eisenhower was important because the sailors and marines are particularly isolated from the outside world as they can be away from port for months at a time. The marines on the Eisenhower especially appreciated their Harvard logo camo hats in marine camo colors.

Photo courtesy of Tim Murphy.



May 27
The hospitality on the USS Eisenhower couldn't have been more gracious. To the point that at times we would forget that this is a warship that is flying 60-80 "Sorties" per day and against enemy forces in Afghanistan.

On Thursday we departed via the C2 aircraft and the the "COD" (carrier onboard delivery) system, which is a steam powered catapult that literally shoots you off the deck of the carrier going from 0-150 mph in 2.5 seconds which tourques your body to the effect of just under 4 G's of pressure. In the C2 aircraft, the passenger seats face opposite the pilots so instead of the G-forces pushing you into the seat, it tries to pull you out of it.

Reinforcing that there is an ongoing friendly rivalry between the Navy and Air Force, the Navy "guarantees that they will get us the 300 feet off the ship, but the rest is up to the Air Force."  The best way the pilots have to describe it is" the fastest roller coaster ride on earth."

Once on our way we flew the 800 miles back to Bahrain and after a long layover we flew on up to Kuwait for the jump to Baghdad the next day.

Photos courtesy of Tim Murphy.