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Bill Murphy hired as an assistant pitching coach for the Houston Astros

Former Brown pitching coach continues to prove himself

Former Brown baseball pitching coach Bill Murphy was recently hired to the coaching staff of Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros. Murphy joined the Brown baseball staff as an assistant coach and pitching coach in September 2014. 

Before coming to Brown, Murphy spent the 2014 season as an assistant coach at Georgetown University overseeing the development of the outfielders, where he also assisted with recruiting and scouting.  

After his time at Brown, Murphy began coaching in the Astros’ minor league baseball system in 2016 as a pitching coach for the 2017 season. In 2018, Murphy moved up to a Double-A team as pitching coach for the Corpus Christi Hooks. In 2019, Murphy was promoted to minor league pitching coordinator, expanding his role to include coaching staff development at all minor league Astros’ affiliates, while maintaining his constant communication with pitchers.

 Murphy’s rapid ascension up the Astros’ coaching hierarchy, from rookie ball pitching coach to major league assistant, took five seasons. Houston hired him directly from Brown, and this winter, the club added Murphy to its major league staff.

“It was such a surreal moment,” Murphy told The Herald. “It was something that was extremely gratifying and (that I) never thought would really happen. It just made me reflect on the past couple of years, and it was something that made me, my family and all the people around me super happy.”

While Murphy could not point to a single defining moment in his career proving to him that he could make it to the major leagues, he said there were people along the way that gave him ample support. Most notably, individuals from the Brown baseball coaching staff were influential in preparing him for his current success. Head Coach Grant Achilles was one of these individuals, and he thanked Murphy for the opportunity to coach alongside him.

“Murph has always been a special person. He doesn’t just improve the players he works with, he improves himself as well,” Achilles said. “He would catch bullpen (sessions) and invest time in each individual pitcher, even when we weren’t our best as a program. It was tough to see him leave the winter before our season, but anytime you see a friend pursue their dream, you can’t help but be happy for them.”

Current Brown baseball assistant coach Mike McCormack is another one of Murphy’s mentors to whom he credits his success. “I have been very fortunate to have people mentor me and go out of their way to try to help me. Mike was one of those people who was extremely gracious and a huge role model,” Murphy said.

He and McCormack have maintained a lifelong friendship, Murphy said. McCormack “is someone I can rely on for advice and he constantly kept me accountable. He made my time at Brown that much (more) special,” Murphy said. “We talk once a week and he is a huge friend of mine and still someone who I cherish with high regard.” 

While staying connected with McCormack, Murphy has also tried to maintain connections with current players. His legacy has kept the players excited about the program and its successful alumni. 

“It’s great to see Brown baseball alumni in the major league ranks as players and coaches,” said first baseman Ryan Marra ’23. “For a coach to go from a college program to a professional one shows Brown baseball as a program that develops talent in all aspects.”

As the 2021 season approaches, specific duties have yet to be assigned to each member of the Astros’ coaching staff, including Murphy, who was one of three coaches to be added this season. Murphy looks to maintain the continuity Houston seeks in its player development and ease the burden on head personnel as much as possible. His favorite part of his new job is helping minor league players live out their dreams of playing on the big stage. 

Despite ascending all the way to MLB, Murphy paid homage to his roots on College Hill. “Brown holds a special place in my heart. Coach Achilles and Coach McCormack gave me a chance to be a pitching coach while being great people to work alongside with,” he said. “They have been great friends to me and have been extremely instrumental in who I am now as a coach, and more importantly as a person.”



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