Seymour’s Murphy retires after 33 years
By Rich Palzewic
SEYMOUR – After 33 years as an educator, Seymour High School boys’ basketball coach Jon Murphy is retiring from teaching.
“The time is right to retire from teaching,” said Murphy, who taught all 33 years at Seymour. “It’s been a strange ending with COVID-19. My last day is June 6. We’ve been doing online stuff, but it’s felt like I’ve been retired for several months with everything going on.”
Murphy taught English at the high school for 25 years before moving off-campus for the last eight years.
“I ran the off-campus alternative high school,” he said. “I enjoyed that – it was a nice change.”
Murphy said he’s looking forward to retirement.
“I’m not sure what I’ll do,” he said. “I’ll figure that out as I go.”
An unusual season
Murphy, one of the most successful head coaches in state history, won his 600th game late last year.
The 57-year-old Murphy said he’s unsure if he’ll continue coaching, but there’s a good chance he’ll return for at least another year.
The Thunder began last season 15-0, but eventually lost to Kaukauna in a WIAA Division 2 sectional game, 70-58.
“The end to the season was anti-climatic,” said Murphy, whose team finished 23-2. “We qualified for sectionals, but at that point, we found out there were some things in the works with COVID and lots of unknowns. We played the first game in sectionals in front of 88 people. Normally, we’d have 2,500 at that game. It was like playing in an open-gym game. We knew when the girls’ tournament was canceled, it was over. It was a strange ending to the sports season and school year.”
Murphy’s son Riley played on the team as a senior.
“Riley is excited to head off to college – he’s been home since March,” Murphy said. “He wants to get out of here, live his life in the dorms and experience college like all the other seniors. It sounds like the Wisconsin system is going back this fall, so that’s good. We are living in a different world right now.”
Murphy helped the Thunder win three Division 2 state championships (1997, 2001, 2006) during his tenure.