Tim Murphy announces retirement after illustrious career as Clayton Valley Charter football coach
CONCORD, CA (May 2, 2023) — Tim Murphy, one of the state’s most successful high school football coaches, has announced his retirement after 28 years of coaching. He led the Clayton Valley Charter High School team since it became a charter school in 2012, winning the school’s first-ever Section and CIF State titles during that time.
He retires with 221 wins, a 2019 California State championship, seven section and 20 league championships. His coaching accolades include the 2003 USA Top 25, 2003 State Coach of the Year, and the 2006 ESPY Coach of the Year award.
At each of the three high schools Murphy coached his teams were the first to claim Section football titles under his leadership.
“Coach Murphy’s dedication, passion and outstanding coaching skills have earned him a reputation as one of the best high school football coaches in the state,” said Dave Fehte, Executive Director at Clayton Valley Charter. “He has inspired generations of players and instilled in them the values of teamwork, hard work and sportsmanship. He will be remembered not only for his impressive achievements, but also for his impact on the lives of his players.”
A College Park High grad, Murphy began his coaching career in 1996 at Ygnacio Valley High School, winning three league championships and the 1999 North Coast Section 3A – East championship, a season where next-door neighbor De La Salle won the 4A title. He was named Contra Costa Times Coach of the Year for that season.
He then moved to Clovis East High School, where he led the team to six league championships and 2003 and 2006 Central Section championships. In 2003, Murphy’s Clovis East team was ranked in the USA Today Top 25, and he was named 2003 State Coach of the Year and ESPY Coach of the Year in 2006.
Murphy’s most successful stint came at Clayton Valley Charter, where he spent the past 11 years of his career coinciding with the school’s transition to a charter. He was hired before the 2012 football season by former Executive Director Dave Linzey and athletic director Pat Middendorf after temporarily returning to Ygnacio Valley that spring.
Under his leadership, the team won 10 of 11 league championships, four NCS championships, three NorCal championships and the 2019 State championship, when Murphy was named NCS Coach of the Year. Over the years he has been an in-demand speaker at coaching clinics to discuss his unique double wing offense, which evolved in recent years to include many more pass attempts.
In 2014, his Ugly Eagles set a state record while having the No. 1 rushing team in the nation with a record-setting 7,055 yards. They led all California high schools that season in several offensive categories. Star running back Miles Harrison gained over 2000 of those yards.
The CVCHS football team was so successful that the NCS had a rocky period trying to find a balance between competitive placement and geography. NCS placed them in the newly realigned “super” Diablo Athletic League in 2016-17. That came after the Section originally announced an alignment putting the Concord school to the East County-based Bay Valley Athletic League.
After winning every DAL game for three fall seasons from 2016-18—most by lopsided scores— the school’s football team was moved to the East Bay Athletic League, where De La Salle and Carondelet have participated since the 2008-09 school year.
In their maiden 2019 EBAL season Ugly Eagles football was winless but then turned around its season and swept the NCS Division II playoffs and won Northern California and State 2-AA playoff games. The irony of that state title win was Clayton Valley defeated Aquinas of San Bernardino in a defensive struggle 10-7. The coach hailed as an offensive guru won the ultimate prize in a low scoring defensive affair.
“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to teach and coach at the same school where my daughter attended, to have worked alongside so many dedicated coaches and to coach so many amazing student-athletes over my career,” said Murphy of his time at the Concord charter school.
Murphy plans to spend more time with his family and explore other interests in retirement. In recent years he has competed in body building competitions. The school announced he will continue to teach physical education at CVCHS.
Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.