Murphy left with 'empty feeling' following decision

BURROUGHS HIGH -- Coach Linda Murphy has been a girls' volleyball

institution at Burroughs High for 18 years.

However, the former Olympic player and respected coach will not be

back for her 19th season as the Indians' mentor, as the school has

decided to replace Murphy.

Murphy said she was shocked when she was informed she would no

longer be running the Burroughs program. Preferring not to talk about

the situation and reluctant to address the decision by the school's

administration, Murphy instead relayed her feelings in a fax on


"I am disappointed that I will no longer be allowed to coach the

Burroughs varsity volleyball team," the fax said.

"When I began my coaching career, my intention was to pass along

the knowledge I was so fortunate to gather over the years, playing

with, and being coached by, the best America had to offer.

"It is an empty feeling to know that I will no longer be allowed

to complete this obligation at my alma mater."

Repeated calls to Jay Gudzin, Burroughs principal of activities

and athletics, Thursday and Friday were not returned.

Along with being influenced and guided by coaches during her

playing career as one of the finest women's volleyball players in the

world, Murphy has done the same with players and associates she has

come in contact with during her tenure at Burroughs.

One of those individuals is Karen Sartoris. Along with being a

coach under Murphy, Karen's daughter, Lisa, was a standout player and

three-time all-league athlete for the Indians in the early 1990s.

"I can tell you that when it came to my daughter, Linda is

probably the most influential coach she has ever had in her life,"

Karen Sartoris said. "Lisa was so prepared when it came to

volleyball, when she went to go play in college I think she knew more

than her college coach, and that was because of all of the things she

learned at Burroughs from Linda."

Sartoris also said she has always been impressed with the way

Murphy ran her program .

"[Linda] built a program and ran her team with dignity, class and

a real love for her players and the sport of volleyball," she said.

"She is really able to develop girls into volleyball players. She

just has a natural knack for teaching the game."

"When I came to work with Linda, I had played a lot of volleyball

and I thought I knew a lot about the sport. But Linda taught me so

much more about the sport that I was just amazed at how much she

knows about volleyball."

During her 18 seasons, Burroughs had a 177-152 record and an 85-93

mark in the Foothill League. Along with capturing league titles in

1986 and 1994, the Indians reached the CIF Southern Section playoff

quarterfinals in 1986 and 1987, posting a combined 32-8 record.

In addition, Murphy's players earned five All-CIF Southern Section

awards through the years. Athletes like Debbie Penney, Mary Ann

Wagner, Jennifer Wagner, Tracy McCauley and Christy Russell made

Burroughs a successful program and a league front runner in the 1980s

and early-to-mid 1990s.

However, the program fell on hard times in recent years. Along

with going 7-14 and 0-10 in league this past season, Burroughs hasn't

had a winning season since 1995, which is also the last time the

Indians made it to the postseason.

Murphy -- who was a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic team, the

first year the sport was introduced in the Games -- got some good

news recently when she was honored as one of the top women's players

ever to represent the U.S. in international competition. She was one

of the first 12 women chosen in an honor by USA Volleyball.

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