Longtime UM athletic trainer Murphy retires

2013-03-29T06:30:00Z 2013-03-29T06:41:55Z Longtime UM athletic trainer Murphy retires

Longtime University of Montana head athletic trainer Dennis Murphy has announced his retirement effective June 30, Murphy said Thursday.

Murphy began working at UM in 1980 and took over as the head athletic trainer when Naseby Rhinehart left in 1982.

“I actually thought when I took the job I would have it for 30 years, but I got to the point that I kept on doing it because I enjoy it,” Murphy said. “But now I’m getting married and I might have better things to do.”

Murphy, who grew up in Ovando and Ronan, graduated from UM in 1975 and did his postgraduate work at the University of Arizona.

“He’s done great things and we appreciate his service to student-athletes and this department,” UM athletic director Kent Haslam said.

Haslam said he could not comment on rumors that other longtime athletic department employees would be leaving as well.

“I can’t talk about specifics when it comes to personnel,” Haslam said. “It’s not legal and I can’t go down that path.”

“People who work in the athletic department work long hours and they’re grossly underpaid for the hours they put in,” Haslam added. “I’m appreciative of people who sacrifice so much, that work so hard. We’ll continue to put our focus on student-athletes and their performance in the classroom and on the courts and fields and making sure that we’re always doing things the very best that we can.”

Murphy said the highlights of his more than 30 years of service were the relationships he formed.

“The athletes I’ve worked with over the years and those relationships,” Murphy said. “And the athletic training students I’ve had the opportunity to mentor, seeing them go on and prosper.”

Sports editor Bob Meseroll can be reached at 523-5265 or at

Sports editor Bob Meseroll can be reached at 523-5265 or at

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(8) Comments

  1. detonate
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    detonate - March 30, 2013 7:14 am
    I think you know the answers to all of the questions...
  2. Itismso
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    Itismso - March 30, 2013 1:05 am
    Thanks Doug. When a great public servant like you speaks, those who do not know Dennis canknow that every word of praise is right on.
  3. Itismso
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    Itismso - March 30, 2013 12:40 am
    Thanks Dennis for all youhave done. I worked with Dennis several years as Chair of the Faculty Athletic Committee and as NCAA Faculty Rep. And saw him over the years thereafter. In the tradition of Nase and with always a smile, Dennis never put a student-athletes' participation in front of long term health. What a great trainer and person he is.
    I listened to the Weber State - Griz basketball game on Weber State radio .. Robin Pflugrad had just arrived at Weber and in interview he said "To see Dennis Murphy passing out towels confirms I will always have some heart for UM". Griz without Dennis will be the Griz without Dennis. Dennis is part of the Griz Heart.
    If Dennis' leaving has to do with Engstrom, as some suggest, then the Regents need to send Engstrom packing ((guess that's been said before..and let's hope thenew AD isn't an Engstrom puppet))
    GOOD LUCK DENNIS...Griz Nation Loves You!
  4. MT oldie
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    MT oldie - March 29, 2013 3:01 pm
    I agree, Dennis has served the UM well.
  5. MT oldie
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    MT oldie - March 29, 2013 3:00 pm
    I guess if they don't renew your contract that's called retirement these days...
  6. Aberdeen
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    Aberdeen - March 29, 2013 2:42 pm
    A real class act - good luck in retirement! And thank you for your years of service too!
  7. Report Abuse
    - March 29, 2013 11:46 am
    What a life of service Dennis Murphy has given the U of M,it's athletes,his students and our community. Student wise he always put them first with sincerity and devotion producing outstanding representatives of our university statewide and beyond.
    The injured athletes under his watch could always count on Murphs and his staff to receive the best in treatment.
    Our son was a graduate under Mr. Murphy's tenure in sports medicine and now practices physical therapy and athletic training needs in Montana.
    Dennis has also been a Emergency Medical Technician for Missoula's ambulance company. Dennis has always keep his standards at the highest pinnacle.
    I shall miss Mr. Murphy at the fall and winter athletic events. I believe the U of M will too.
  8. Pistol
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    Pistol - March 29, 2013 8:54 am
    The Missoulian was so "up" on alleged sexual assaults should be "up" on what is going on in the athletic department. There will be other retirement announcements. Engstrom is continuing his demolition of the athletic department. Better to retire then have it announced he was given his ticket?? Took one for school image? Stay tuned to see if there are other "retirements".
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