Tim Murphy Quotes From Ivy Football Teleconference

Jonathan Mason (2) celebrates with David Sklar (55) after Mason forced and recovered a fumble during Harvard's 23-7 win over Columbia (Gil Talbot/ Harvard Athletics) Buy Now
Jonathan Mason (2) celebrates with David Sklar (55) after Mason forced and recovered a fumble during Harvard's 23-7 win over Columbia (Gil Talbot/ Harvard Athletics)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Tim Murphy, the Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, recently took part in the Ivy League's weekly teleconference. Below are his quotes from the event.

Additionally, coach Murphy will give more insight into his Crimson as he takes part in the weekly New England Football Writers' Association Luncheon Wednesday afternoon at Harvard's Dillon Field House.

The event - the nation's oldest weekly football media gathering, now entering its 82nd season - begins at noon and features head coaches, players and administrators from around the region from all levels of NCAA competition. This year's event will be streamed live via the web on and is part of the All-Access and Football Season Pass for streaming.

Fans can login to Harvard's Multimedia section of the website to watch the streams. Recaps of the event will be posted in the afternoon and will be sent to media and area schools as well. Local fans can do even better as the event is open to the public for a fee of $10 per person.

Each school's coach/administrator will speak briefly about his team's last game, a preview up the upcoming games and an assessment of his team's top players. Additionally, the weekly Gold Helmet Award is given to the preceding week's top players. The award is sponsored by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston and the weekly winners - one from Divisions I and one from Divisions II/III - are presented with a plaque.

Harvard Head Coach Tim Murphy on the team’s win vs. Columbia and looking ahead to Penn
Anytime you have a 15-point win over a league opponent, you have to be pleased. We had to work for everything in this game. I thought it was a very close game. We played very well at times, especially defensively. Our font seven (players) continue to play at a very high level. Offensively, we need to be more consistent. We missed a couple of field goals and missed an extra point – things that we had done very well coming in. We had too many penalties in bad situation. The bottom line is, our kids continue to play extremely hard and get better every week.

As you look at Penn (as coaches), the last 10 years where we’ve somehow had a chance to control our own destiny, we’ve managed to pull it off four times in the past 10 years … but the bottom line, everyone (in our league) has to go through Penn year in and year out. I can pull out stats from 1994 and they (Penn) are very similar to the stats they have today – remarkably consistent and talented defensively. The thing this year is that they are a much better offensive team this year than in their undefeated (league) season of last year. Penn right now is the best team in the league and we’ll have to try to beat a very good football team.

On the Brown loss and his team’s ability to bounce back
I think our kids have responded to every challenge we’ve given them. When we lost to Brown, we took it personally and went right back to work. (The loss) is ancient history now; we’ve played very well since then. Lehigh is a very good football team that will win seven or eight games at least and we had a chance to win on the last play of the game. Penn is a much better football team than they were a year ago and we’ll have to play very well and minimize our mistakes.

On the team’s changing offensive strategy
It’s definitely been a decision that we’re going to run the football. Coming out of the Brown game, it was a mistake on my part (in that game) that we would show such a pass-first mentality. Running the football - it has to be our identity. With the ability of our offensive line, we need to utilize it.It’s a change of philosophy than in years past. The ability to run the football and be physical up front has really changed our football team.

On the comparison of Penn QB Billy Ragone and Harvard’s Collier Winters
They’re both outstanding quarterbacks. (Billy) Ragone, when you watch him, you can’t believe he is such a relatively inexperienced quarterback. We’ll have to deal with him for the next years. You have to defend him as a quarterback and a running back. People underestimate his ability to throw (the ball) – but we’re not one of them. Collier is the same thing; Collier has obviously thrown the football a lot more in his career but Ragone is a kid that can definitely, throw the football.

On captain Collin Zych and the subtle things he does that separate him from other defenders
The one thing is some of the instinctual things that he does. When we are watching game film, you just say to yourselves, ‘how does he know that? How did he know to be there?’ He is always in the right place at the right time and has a super high IQ football-wise. He is literally like having another coach on the field.