Rich Murphy Promoted to Associate Head Coach at Tennessee

Photo Courtesy: John Golliher/Tennessee Athletics

Entering his fifth season of coaching with the Tennessee swimming program, Rich Murphy was promoted to associate head coach ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, director of swimming and diving Matt Kredich announced Wednesday.

“I’m thrilled to announce Rich’s promotion,” Kredich said. “Rich is one of the best and most creative swimming coaches in the country. His ability to teach, whether it is stroke mechanics, race dynamics or training theory, is unparalleled, and we are really excited to put him in a position where our athletes and staff can benefit even more from his expertise and passion. In his time here, Rich has had a tremendous impact on our student-athletes, helping to launch swimmers into a new orbit of competitive excellence. His work has been instrumental in the successes of Olympians, SEC champions, All-Americans and USA National Team members.”

With a long track record of mentoring Olympians and international-caliber swimmers on the collegiate and club levels, Murphy has worked primarily at Tennessee with student-athletes who swim events 200 yards and longer, including open water. His duties will now expand to athletes spanning the entire event range, and he will be in charge of the men’s team’s athletic and cultural development. Throughout his career, he has coached and developed more than 50 Olympians.

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A current USA Swimming National Team coach, Rich Murphy was the head coach for Team USA’s open water team at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, where Vol Taylor Abbott won a silver medal. Along with Abbott, Murphy also coached David Heron and Joey Tepper to the national team. Abbott and Heron also competed in the Pan Pacific Championships, while Tepper qualified for the Junior World Championships and was the 18&U National Champion.

Since arriving at Tennessee, Murphy has coached SEC champions Lyubomir Epitropov and Joey Reilman as well as numerous school record holders, including Epitropov (200 breast), Reilman (200 free, 100 back), Tess Cieplucha (400 IM), Sam McHugh (400 IM) and Kayky Mota (100 fly). Epitropov and Cieplucha both competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m really excited to continue working as a part of Matt’s staff and building toward his vision of a championship-caliber program for both the men and women,” said Rich Murphy. “I’m excited about the energy and veteran leadership on the men’s team as well as the new guys joining us. I’m looking forward to mentoring the returning women, who I have strong relationships with, along with the newcomers that will be fun to get to know and see what they can do and where they can help take our program.”

Murphy boasts coaching experience at five different stops at the collegiate level. He served as an assistant coach for Auburn’s men’s and women’s national championship and SEC championship teams during the 2006-07 season. His other stops include being the head women’s coach at Houston (2013-14), acting as an assistant coach at Bowling Green (2005-06) and serving as a volunteer and graduate assistant at Arizona State (2001-03).

On the club scene, Rich Murphy spent nearly a decade helping lead the Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta. With the program, he served as the associate head coach while guiding the competitive platform. During his time, he coached several Olympians, including silver medalist Jay Litherland, Matias Koski and Andrew Rutherford, National Team members Kevin Litherland and Michael Taylor, Junior World Championships gold medalist Allen Browning and NCAA All-American Sam Lewis.

Rich Murphy was a volunteer assistant for Club Wolverine at Michigan under coaches Bob Bowman and Jon Urbanchek when Michael Phelps trained there (2005-06) and was the head coach for Sun Devil Aquatics at Arizona State (2003-05), advanced age-group coach at Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (formerly Palo Alto Swim Club, 1998-2001), and with Los Altos Mountain View Aquatic Club (1998).