UTEP women’s volleyball head coach Ken Murphy has been named the 2012 Conference USA Coach of the Year, the league office announced Wednesday.
Murphy becomes the third coach in program history to have been recognized with this honor (Norman Brandl, 1984 and Revis Ward-Daggett, 2000). The Miners concluded the regular season with a record of 16-12, including 10-6 in C-USA action.
UTEP’s 10 league victories tie for the second most in a single season in program history. The school standard was set in 1984 (13-1 OCAC) while both the 1996 (10-6 WAC) and 2005 (10-6 C-USA) squads also reached double figures in conference play.
Under Murphy individuals continued to thrive, with a school-record-tying three Miners earning spots in the All-C-USA team. Junior standouts Xitlali Herrera and Jeane Horton were tabbed to the first team while Malia Patterson was named to the second team.
The award is a culmination for Murphy, who along with his staff has steadily built UTEP into a viable program. The Miners have 35 victories in the past two years, the most since compiling 37 from 1989-90.
“Ken is the true definition of a driven educator,” assistant coach Julie Allen said. “He is a motivated individual, who inspires those around him to achieve their success and reach their fullest potential. Ken is dedicated to his craft and works hard in teaching, coaching and mentoring his student-athletes and staff.”
UTEP posted three separate winning streaks of at least three matches, marking the first time it met this feat since 2005 and third occasion in the past 20 years.
“It is so awesome and deserving for Ken to get this honor,” assistant coach Angela Mooney said. “He has been a huge mentor and positive influence to myself and everyone associated with UTEP volleyball.”
UTEP stumbled out of the gates at home (0-3) but wrapped up the season very strong. The Miners went down the stretch 8-1 at home, including a victory against NM State (9/26). It was the first time since 2001 that UTEP proved to be victorious against the Aggies at Memorial Gym.
The Miners ended their season at home on a high note as they defeated regular-season champion Tulsa (11/4). In what proved to be a tough match, UTEP was victorious and was one of two C-USA squads that defeated the Golden Hurricanes this season.
The Miners will open play at the C-USA Championships as they take on UAB at 1 p.m. (MST) in Tulsa, Okla. Friday.