It’s the beginning of a new era for Murphy football. Long-time head coach, Ronn Lee stepped down and long-time Panther offensive coordinator Rick Cauley has stepped in to lead the blue and gold.
“Coach Lee did a lot for me and I definitely look up to him and he’s one of the guys who taught me how to be. When I first started I was a loud mouth, know it all, and I wasn’t afraid to tell people – and the one thing I learn from him was just to be quiet and listen,” said Cauley.
“Me and Coach Lee we were very tight, Coach Cauley – he’s good man, we have a great friendship when I see him, ‘hey coach’, I’m excited to see him – whenever I see him we’re good friends. With Coach Cauley I’m becoming a better player in the weight room and I’m ready to step on the field and see what I have to offer,” said Murphy defensive lineman, Domenique Chambers.
“I love him (Cauley) – I mean, he’s been the offensive coordinator since I’ve been there. I love the way he plays, he’s fast, fast tempo, I love it, so he expects a lot but he’s a good coach,” said DePriest Tuner, Murphy quarterback.
The Panther kicked off the spring practice season Monday and are ready for a turnaround in Midtown.
“Being an individual we cannot do anything, being our own person – we have to be one unit so we can beat the other teams and get past them,” said Chambers.
“It’s very important, you get to see where you’re at, the players you have, I think that each practice matters, especially going into the spring game, I’m excited about it – to see the different talent because a lot of the guys we have this year didn’t get to play last year, so it’s always exciting to see what we have this year,” said Turner.
“It’s exciting, the football part is the easy part for me, the athletic director, the day-to-day, that’s the more difficult thing for me, but the football, so that’s where I’m comfortable and I cannot wait to get on a football field,” said Cauley.
After just a 6-5 finish in 2013, the Panthers come into the new 7A classification with a clean slate.
“One thing about Murphy, we don’t ever quit so we can’t, when the ball’s not in our favor, keep our heads down, we just have to keep playing until the clock goes off,” said Chambers.
“We are the underdogs so being the underdogs, and being the underdogs we are always going to be scrappy, so I feel like we are the underdogs because of last year, but we left last year in the past, so we’re gonna start a new era, a new head coach, so I’m looking forward to it,” said Turner.
“We don’t talk about last year, we kind of put that away, you don’t read a book twice, so that ones done, so we’re going to move on. I would like to be considered one of the better teams and you’re not going to get that by playing sub par,” said Cauley.