‘It’s not a job, it’s a passion’

Patrick Murphy prepares the Missouri S&T baseball team’s uniforms before a game against Drury University.

Patrick Murphy prepares the Missouri S&T baseball team’s uniforms before a game against Drury University. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

For some, baseball is just a game. For Missouri S&T sophomore Patrick Murphy, it’s much more.

“I first started playing baseball in kindergarten, and it has been a pretty big part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Murphy says. “It has always been something that I’ve enjoyed.”

The native of Bartlett, Tennessee, played baseball through his senior year in high school. When he came to Missouri S&T as a freshman in the fall of 2013 he tried out for the university’s baseball team. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the cut. Instead, he asked head coach Todd DeGraffenreid about being an assistant on the team, and the coach named him the team’s first head student manager.

“Patrick Murphy has been the first student manager of the baseball team since I joined the team as head coach in 2003,” DeGraffenreid says.

As the head student manager, Murphy has the unofficial title of “director of baseball operations.”

DeGraffenreid says he wanted to “give him a title that is a more fitting description of what he does for the team.”

Murphy poses with the 2015 Missouri S&T baseball team and coaching staff.

Murphy poses with the 2015 Missouri S&T baseball team and coaching staff. Photo by Missouri S&T SID

Murphy has many tasks and responsibilities on the team, including managing the team’s inventory; supervising an assistant manager; helping prepare the field and team for practices and games; selecting walk-up music for players getting ready to bat; managing the team’s social media accounts, including @SandTBaseball, the team’s Twitter handle; washing the team’s uniforms and making restaurant reservations during road trips.

“He is hands-down the most committed person to this baseball program, aside from myself,” says DeGraffenreid. “He’s never missed a practice. He’s always the first one here. If we’ve got practice at 5 a.m., Murphy’s here at 4:15 (a.m). His performance is superior and unparalleled and this program wouldn’t be the same without him.”

When Murphy isn’t with the baseball team, he’s busy working toward a degree in business and management systems.

He originally came to S&T to study architectural engineering, but Murphy feels that he is now on the right path to success. “I feel like this major better suits me with the roles I have on the baseball team. I still want to do something sports-related once I graduate, but now instead of creating sports facilities, I’ll be managing sports teams.

I want to do something where I can look forward to going to work every day. That’s why I enjoy baseball so much – it’s not a job, it’s a passion,” he says.

By Sam Ogunmolawa

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