The Padres announced this afternoon that they have named Pat Murphy their interim manager for the remainder of the 2015 season. Murphy had been serving as the team’s manager at Triple-A El Paso.
“Pat Murphy’s 30 years of experience coaching and managing, and his success at every level, stood out to me as I came to this decision,” said Padres GM A.J. Preller in the press release announcing the move. “His leadership ability, his respect in the clubhouse and his familiarity with our system will make this transition a smooth one for our players and coaching staff.”
The 56-year-old Murphy was in his third season as El Paso’s manager and spent the two years prior to that managing for San Diego’s A-Ball affiliate. He also has an extensive college coaching career, most notably with Arizona State. Murphy was long hailed as one of the best coaches in the college game, but his time at ASU wasn’t without controversy. Murphy was reportedly forced to resign in 2009 after allegations of academic fraud and recruiting violations marred his tenure as the team’s head coach.
Recently, the Brewers had interest in interviewing Murphy for a coaching position on the Major League staff, but the Padres did not grant Milwaukee permission to do so. Speculation emerged shortly thereafter that Murphy “had been made promises” by the organization. While that may or may not be the case, it does certainly seem likely that the Padres were at least considering Murphy as a possible coach, if not manager, in the event that Bud Black was let go. The Padres dismissed Black yesterday after parts of nine seasons on the job.