CHARACTER MATTERS - Something Bigger Than You

CM hockey coach, Tim Murphy ’97 could mark the many stages of his life by the uniforms he’s worn. But what those uniforms meant to him went beyond fit.
When Tim Murphy played hockey at CM, he played in an era where the only two words associated with the program were “State” and “National.” The ‘90s was CM hockey’s golden age, and “the hard skating” Murphy was in the thick of it, donning the jersey that would strike fear in any opposing team.

Where his love of hockey would lead wasn’t clear until the day “Murph,” walked into the office of Mr. McElaney, CM’s guidance counselor.

“So, Murph, what are you thinking?” he says. “I’d seen West Point play BC that year,” recalls Murphy, “and so I responded, ‘West Point.’ And I’ll never forget it, Mr. McElaney just picked up the phone catalog, called their admissions office and said, ‘Hey, I got a CM hockey player looking to get in the academy.’ Next thing you know West Point coaches are coming to my games.”

Entering “The Point” was an easy decision. As a kid from Southie, the idea of service was a normal expectation for the men of Murphy’s neighborhood.

“My uncle was a Vietnam vet and a big influence in my life.” And so it came time to put on a different uniform, many in fact over the next 20 years. From silver and red to black and gold on the ice. Basic training gear to the army’s chocolate chip battle dress that Murphy wore on his two tours of Iraq between 2004 and 2007.

These days, his uniform of choice is that of the national guard, working with ROTC programs at colleges while
supplying information about ROTC to any high schoolers showing interest, especially in his capacity as a CM
hockey coach, which he is.

“I probably get at least one player every season who is asking me either about the ROTC or military academy. Sports and the services are still the best way for a kid who doesn’t come from that much to make something of themselves. I’m here to make that happen both on the ice and for whatever happens after they leave.”

The parallels between sports and the military aren’t wasted on Murphy, but there is something else.

“I appreciate that there is something bigger than you at work. When I was in Iraq, patrolling the streets. You see these kids…these people, and you know that they are good people, and you help them the way you would any American. I think it all comes back to my upbringing, my family, my elementary school, and CM, and the religious education that ties it all together.”