Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy is rumored to be on his way to Florida, as in Orlando, as in the Magic.
According to Graham Couch and Gary Parrish, it appears that Eastern Michigan head coach Rob Murphy is headed to the Orlando Magic. It is possibly as an assistant coach as The Detroit News indicated this afternoon, or as a scout as per Parrish's tweet.
Murphy would join Jacque Vaughn on the bench after a certain ex-player helped make Stan Van an ex-coach. Don't worry Murphy; you will have Kyle O'Quinn on the bench to remind you of those days in mid-major land.
It is an interesting jump for someone who turned out a great deal of success in his only season in charge of Eastern Michigan. The Eagles won the MAC West and made every team on the schedule a little nervous because there was no rhyme or reason to the wins.
Think of this as another instance of a coach getting more out of his players than the statistics would indicate. It is on par with what Keith Dambrot has done at Akron, but maybe more perplexing as Murphy managed to do it at Eastern with almost no players who were better than replacement level according to HOOPWAR.
He had a few players, namely Darrell Lampley and Derek Thompson, that managed above a 1.0 value, but in general he was dealing with the type of performance that would have a player far down the bench.
Murphy obviously has the nose for talent, having been an assistant at Syracuse before coming to Eastern Michigan. You don't end up as an assistant for Jim Boeheim without some measure of skill. The bigger question is how all of that translates to the next level and what he can bring to the Orlando Magic.
It is an opportunity too good to pass up, especially when you consider that Eastern Michigan is not exactly a program with a lot of basketball history. They have just 11 seasons of 20 or more wins in the 114-year history of the program.
For more on the possible move, check out Hustle Belt for a decidedly MAC-focused view.
UPDATE: Rob Murphy has turned down the Magic.