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Murphy resigns as Monroe coach
Monroe boys basketball coach Pat Murphy resigned Friday after 15 years of coaching. Murphy led the Cheesemakers to four state tournament appearances, a state championship in 2007, a state runner-up finish in 2009 and six Badger South Conference titles. (Times file photo)
MONROE - After serving as the Monroe boys basketball coach for 15 years, Pat Murphy resigned from his coaching post Friday, citing the need for a new voice to lead the Cheesemakers into the next chapter of Badger Conference expansion.

"I just thought after 15 years, a different voice would be better," Murphy said. "I didn't make this decision because of parental pressure or administrative support. I just thought maybe a different voice would fuel the program. I don't think there is ever a right time to resign from a position. I have thought about it for two-and-a half months. It's not something I decided on a whim to do."

Murphy will continue as a special education teacher at Monroe High School.

In his 15 years as Monroe's coach, Murphy compiled a 244-159 mark and guided the Cheesemakers to four state tournament appearances, a Division 2 state championship in 2007, a state runner-up finish in 2009 and six Badger South Conference titles.

Murphy, a 1988 Mineral Point High School graduate and a 1993 University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduate who played on Bo Ryan's national championship team in 1991, will savor fond coaching memories in Monroe, including coaching his son, Austin Murphy, for two years on the varsity basketball team.

"I've been blessed to be a part of Monroe," he said. "It's bittersweet. I'm sad. I don't know what I will do with my time now. Basketball has been in my blood since third grade. Maybe a year off will help me self-reflect and decide what I want to do. I don't know what the future will hold."

Winning a state championship and being a perennial conference title contender as one of the smallest schools in the Badger South proved to be a challenge he always welcomed.

"You can say I was spoiled," Murphy said. "I'm proud of what we have accomplished. I love the game of basketball and Monroe. I've been blessed to have some quality and great kids, coaches and parents to work with. Monroe is a great community and they love their athletics and basketball."

Murphy said he is not planning on pursuing a college head coaching or assistant coaching position right now. But he will still coordinate the summer basketball league that has 50 teams from seventh grade through varsity.

Murphy said he would like to see varsity assistant coach Brian Bassett get a shot at the head coaching position. However, the Monroe varsity boys basketball coaching position will draw interest from many candidates vying to coach in the Badger Conference.

"I would hope he (Bassett) would get an opportunity," Murphy said. "It's out of my hands now."

One challenge Murphy knows is coming for the Cheesemakers is the addition of Beaver Dam and Watertown to the Badger Conference in the 2017-18 school year. Watertown is expected to be added to the Badger South and Beaver Dam to the Badger North.

"None of those changes have actually favored Monroe," Murphy said. "We will still be the smallest school in the conference."