The Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club would like to extend its deepest sympathies to the family of former Rider head coach and CFL Hall of Fame member Cal Murphy.
“Cal Murphy is a legend in CFL coaching, but more importantly he was a wonderful person,” stated Riders President/CEO Jim Hopson. “Since his retirement from coaching, Cal was a fixture in our offices watching film and talking football. He will be missed by our entire organization.”
After coaching in high school and U.S. college ranks, Murphy joined the CFL coaching fraternity in 1974 as the B.C. Lions defensive line coach. He was named head coach in B.C. in 1975. In 1977, Murphy moved to Montreal to join Marv Levy’s staff. In 1978, Murphy moved to Edmonton and was part of five Grey Cup championships teams.
In 1983, Murphy’s CFL odyssey took him to Winnipeg where he spent the next 14 years as head coach and later General Manager. During his stay in Winnipeg, Murphy took the Bombers to the Grey Cup five times, winning three championships.
Murhpy joined the Roughriders coaching staff in 1997 and was named the team’s head coach and Director of Football Operations for the 1999 season. Following his retirement from coaching, Murphy spent the past number of years scouting for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.
In 1993, the Governor General of Canada conferred upon Cal the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. The honour was bestowed upon Cal in recognition of significant contributions to compatriots, to community and to Canada.
Cal was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2004.
The following is a statement from CFL Commissioner Marc Cohon on the passing of Cal...
"Cal Murphy lived and breathed and loved football -- and our league was so much better for it. He was a fierce competitor, with a keen eye for talent, and an ability to mold great teams. He first coached the BC Lions, was with the Edmonton Eskimo dynasty of 1978 through 1982, and coached in Montreal and Saskatchewan, but we will always remember him as one of the great Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He was their Head Coach and General Manager, and was central to five Bomber Grey Cup appearances, and three victories. His teams could amass points, but they were often defined by their toughness -- reflective of a man who refused to let a severe heart condition stop him. Overall, in his 30 years in the CFL, he was part of nine Grey Cup champions. Along the way, he earned a place in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame -- and in the hearts and minds of many he led and mentored and befriended. Their thoughts and prayers, and those of all of us in the CFL, are with his family today."