Phila-area sports legend, Sheila Murphy was recently inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame — the only female among the 2017 class of 12 inductees. The ceremony took place at the Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in Williamsport, Pa.
Muphy, who currently is the chairperson of PIAA District One field hockey and softball, has been a fixture in Phila-area athletics dating back to her days at Nazareth Academy in the 1960s. These days, she can be seen on the sidelines at games as well as at District One championship matches, presenting trophies and medals to the winning teams.
Murphy’s stellar athletic career is not only in field hockey. She was a four-year starter on Nazareth Academy’s basketball team that won three consecutive championships from 1962-64 when she led the team in points and rebounds her senior season.
At Temple University, Murphy earned eleven varsity letters in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Health & Physical Education. She was a member of the Lady Owls basketball team from 1965-1968 and led the team in scoring her senior and junior seasons. Murphy was also a member of Temple’s lacrosse (1966-68) and field hockey (1966) teams. She was awarded the Women’s Athletic Association (WAA) Blazer Award as the most outstanding female athlete, and also served as president of the WAA for three years (1966-68). Murphy’s academic honors at Temple include the President’s Scholar and the College of Education Awards. She was inducted into Temple’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.
After earning a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, Murphy began her teaching and coaching career at Neshaminy High School, where she coached the field hockey team for nineteen seasons and amassed a record of 259-52-29. Her team won 11 consecutive league championships, a District 1 Championship in 1983, and two PIAA state championships in 1983 and 1990. Stearing the softball team, Murphy bolstered a record of 140-63 and won 2 league titles in 1976 and 1980. She was named Coach of the Year in field hockey five times and in softball twice by the Bucks County Courier Times and earned the Gold Medal Award for coaching from Scholastic Coach. She was appointed as the assistant principal in charge of athletics in 1993, a position she held until retirement in 2007. Murphy also coached basketball at Neshaminy and Little Flower High Schools, as well as the collegiate level at Beaver College (now Arcadia University) and Penn State Ogontz.
In addition to the Temple University Hall of Fame, Murphy was inducted into the Neshaminy High School Sports Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia All-Stars Hall of Fame, and was an inaugural inductee in the Bucks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Murphy’s recent induction into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame marks the 27th female honoree, compared to the approximately 600 male inductees. Her dedication, passion, and commitment to field hockey spanning nearly six decades — and all women’s sports — make her a true Phila-area field hockey icon.
Click here to link to Philafieldhockey’s Facebook page. Click “videos” to link to a short video tribute to Sheila Murphy, created for the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame 2017 induction ceremony.
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