Murphy takes over as head coach of ECS footballPublished 4:04pm Monday, June 16, 2014
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor
ALABASTER — There will be a new face patrolling the sidelines for the Evangel Christian School Lightning during the 2014 season, as Don Murphy will take over for Del Clayton.
“We’re all volunteer coaches, (and) Del’s son graduated,” Murphy said. “I was asked to take it. It’s a great opportunity for me.”
Murphy takes over an Evangel program that will take on a sort of rebuilding phase in 2014, as most of the team that captured the 2013 NACA Division I National Championship graduated in May. The Lightning boasts just two returning starters from the undefeated squad.
“(They’re) hard shoes to fill, (so) we’re not trying to fill them,” he said. “We’re going to have to learn how to play 48 minutes (and) play both ways.”
Murphy said the upcoming season will feature a squad that is short on depth compared to last season, but will feature the same intensity that Evangel teams have become known for.
“Del has helped me, and is still there helping,” he said. “I’ve coached the kids (before).”
While in his first year of varsity head coaching experience, Murphy is no stranger to the sidelines. He previously served as the junior varsity head coach for the Lightning, and said he felt he knew what both he and the team expected in terms of on-field performance.
“It’s a different mentality because it’s a volunteer (job),” he said. “The kids are easy. Because we’re small, I know the kids well.”
Murphy’s head coaching debut will take place on the road Aug 15. He and the new-look Lightning will kick off the 2014 season at Tuscaloosa Christian, where Evangel looks to repeat last season’s 45-7 win.
As of press time, the Lightning’s first home game is slated to take place Sept. 19 against Heritage Christian out of Sharpsburg, Ga. Check back with Shelbycountyreporter.com for updates in scheduling.