Ben Murphy has coached 30 years at Chuckey Doak including 19 years as head football coach and now he will ride off into the sunset as he has retired at the Afton school.
“It’s just time to move onto something else. I have great memories here and the community here has been great to me and it has always been about the players,” Murphy said.
Longtime assistant coach and 2003 Chuckey Doak graduate Matt Ripley has been named as Murphy’s replacement and will lead the Black Knights into the 2021 season.
Ripley has been an assistant at Chuckey Doak for 13 years and has been around the program as a coach and player for nearly 20 years and this will be his first head coaching job.
“Coach Murphy has set a strong foundation going forward for our program and I’m excited to build off what he’s already put in place. I’ll be surrounded by great assistant coaches who work hard for our kids and our team and I look forward to supporting them and helping them in any way I can,” Ripley said.
“I’m fortunate to already know these kids, I’ve known them since they were in middle school where I was, for most of them, their 6th grade math teacher so the trust and the bond is there, and I look forward to getting into the grind with these guys and working hard to win.”
Murphy started his coaching career as an assistant at Chuckey Doak in 1992 and was an assistant for 11 years before taking over the program in 2002.
He has served as head coach in two different tenures (2002-11) and again from 2013 until 2020.
His overall record as head coach is 74-113 but he has led the Black Knights to eight Class 3A playoff appearances (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019 and 2020) in his time as head coach there and as an assistant has been a part of all 12 playoff appearances in Black Knights history.
Chuckey Doak’s best season under Murphy as head coach came in 2011 as the Black Knights went 8-4 beating Pigeon Forge in the 3A first round of the playoffs before losing to Sullivan North in the second round.
Chuckey Doak have made the playoffs the last three seasons are coming off an 6-4 record.
“I was taken back a minute when Ben wanted to step away from being the head coach of our football team. He was a student teacher when I was a senior (1993). I guess you could say he has become a “staple amongst the community” when it comes to Chuckey-Doak football,” Chuckey Doak Principal Steven Broyles said.
“Student-athletes have always been able to lean on him in the hallways of the school as a teacher, mentor, and of course coach. For many years you could count on Ben Murphy standing on the sidelines on a Friday night in Afton, Tennessee. He his expertise and leadership will forever be part of the Black Knight family, but I promise you he will be missed.”
Currently 13 schools in Bolivar, Brainerd, Collinwood, Gatlinburg Pittman, Hillsboro, KIPP Academy, Knoxville Catholic, Manassas, Maplewood, Tipton Rosemark, Trezevant, Tyner and Zion Christian are looking for a head coach.
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