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Tigers mourn loss of Coach Murphy just before title game

This week was supposed to be a week of celebration for the Wilmington Tigers semi-pro football team, however the Tigers are mourning the unexpected loss of their head coach, William Murphy. Team marketing director Hollis Briggs, Jr told us the coach died peacefully: "I received a telephone call from a friend of mine and said there a lot of police cars around the coach's house. A couple of us went over there and that's when we found out what we didn't want to be true that Coach Murphy had passed on. They found him sitting in his favorite chair with a smile on his face." The Tigers will be playing in the Mason Dixon championship game this Saturday. The game will be a tribute to tribute to Coach Murphy who was slated to be inducted into the Mason Dixon League Hall of Fame on Saturday. The ceremony will still take place at halftime. The championship game will kickoff at 7pm at Legion Stadium. Funeral arrangements are not yet complete.

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Mr Murphy

I love you so much, you were always good to me. I was your shopping friend, we were together atleast once a month riding in the car to somewhere. Foodlion will never be the same for me. I think of you on days we would talk as we went our way, i am crying as my love is a little lost at this time. We love you, terry & i will not ever forget the kindness shown to us by you, i am going to miss shopping for you every 2 weeks, i am going to miss you calling terry honey doo, i will miss going to office depot to get paper covers for the books, wow my life was full, but now it seem a bit empty, i love you Mr Murphy, Love Samantha Buchanon

Coach Murphy has been a

Coach Murphy has been a great inspiration to many of our Wilmington youth. He has not only been a leader, but a father to the fatherless. He will be sorely missed by many, but God has definitely got an Angel. I wish his family many warm condolences and hope they can weather the storm and be okay. God will be there with you, with all my prayers and well wishes may peace be with you

Coach Murphy

Coach Murphy a great man,father to many and a great man!he coached me back in the day of the fire disco bears.He was a second father to me always taking time to listen and teaching what was right on and off the field.Words can not express the lost we endured this monday but i can tell you what a BLESSING GOD gave us to be able to know him.COACH MURPHY rest in peace! we love and will dearly miss you! THE PACHECO'S

Coach Murphy

I played for coach murphy back in the days of the true FIRE DISCO BEARS! he wasn't only my coach but a second father!he was a true man,coach and mentoir to all of us that came through his football program.Coach Murphy thank you for your leadership, love for the game and your time spent with us! The Pacheco family loves you and will miss you! see you soon COACH!


I knew Coach Murphy for a short five years but in those five years he taught me so many things about the sport we both love "Football" I never knew my father until i met Coach.He was a father figure for those who didnt know their father! He also would give me a hard time at practice and call me "scrub" but at the end of the night he would tell me "I did for your own good" I will miss seeing him at practice a seeing him walk across the feild to practice from time to time! RIP my father you will be the twelth man come Saturday night and it will be a night to remember as we go out and do what we set out to do from day one! Win,Win,Win!Love you Coach!


I live in Richmond,Va and have been for the last 27 years. I was browsing through the news on the internet and saw the news about Murphy. I too am saddened at the loss and echo what you said that he was a father to all who came to him. He called all of us scrubs and we liked it. No one ever dare challenge him on it. So thanks for your kind and sentimental words about coach. I was around in the 70's and have fond memories of the 8th Street center and playing basketball, football in the Turkey bowl and just hanging out there with all of my friends. I miss those times. But my fondest memories was how coach managed things with all the kids and adults. He helped us all grow into fine young men and women and how to treat one another with respect and grace. I try to be a mentor to kids here in Richmond and they all come to me because they like my fatherly air. So we will all miss him. I will keep be watching the news and asking family members in Wilmington when the funeral will be. Hopefully I will be able to attend. Ron

A community Icon, Hero and a Living Legend..........

I played Pop Warner football for William "aka Murphy" in 1977. He was more than a coach to my friends and myself, he was a role model, a hero, a communtiy Icon and most of all a Living Legend. This man will definetely be missed. William Murphy and Sherman Morgan were true role models for the African American youths in the inner city of Wilmington and deserve the highest honor that the City of Wilmington can bestow upon them. "May God Bless the families of these Legends"

Coach Murphy this was a

Coach Murphy this was a dream season and we are gonna finish up strong and bring the title home for you, we all love and you will truly be missed.

Thank you Coach Murphy...

For being such a positive staple and role model in the Black community as long as I can remember. I grew up down the street from the center and it always gave me solace to know that you were there for us. My heart just dropped when I found out about your untimely passing. Your presence in the community will truely be missed. You filled the void in the lives of our young men when their fathers were MIA. You were able to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Living out your life as a true example of a community leader that really CARED. I just want to extend my condolences to the Murphy family. May the love and peace of God comfort you during the most difficult time. God Bless The Smith Family

William Murphy

I think i'll colar this man father, and freind to so many people. I have known him every since i was born. He treated me like i was his child. Murphy will be missed ,but not forgotten.