UA Softball Coach resigns, heads for LSU

Alabama head softball coach Patrick Murphy announced Thursday evening that he will be leaving the program after his 13th year at the helm and take the same position at LSU. Murphy leaves Tuscaloosa after leading the Crimson Tide to its best finish ever at the Women's College World Series in 2011.

"I can't say enough about the job Patrick has done for us here at Alabama," said UA Athletics Director Mal Moore. "He's an outstanding individual. He has built this program up to the top level nationally. I hate to see him go, but I wish him the very best. He'll be missed in Tuscaloosa. We will start a search for a new head coach immediately."

Murphy guided Alabama to a 53-11 record this past season that included a third place finish at the WCWS and a second straight Southeastern Conference regular season title. Under his direction in 2011 Murphy had four players earn NFCA All-American honors and five garner All-SEC accolades, including two-time SEC Pitcher of the Year Kelsi Dunne.

In his 13 seasons at Alabama, Murphy amassed a 712-210 overall record and a 287-86 mark in league contests while guiding the Crimson Tide to seven WCWS, seven SEC championships (four tournament and three regular season) and a postseason berth every season. Alabama won 50 or more games nine times under Murphy, including each of his last seven seasons with the Crimson Tide. Alabama posted its best records in 2000 (66-14) and 2005 (63-15).

Individually, 17 players earned NFCA All-American honors under Murphy's tutelage while 126 were named Academic All-SEC and seven garnered Academic All-American honors. The coaching staff was named the NFCA South Region Coaching Staff of the Year on six different occasions.