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Reports: Chihuahuas' Murphy joining Padres

Triple-A El Paso manager heading to San Diego after Black's dismissal
June 15, 2015

UPDATE: The Padres announced Tuesday that Triple-A El Paso manager Pat Murphy will serve as the club's interim manager for the remainder of the 2015 season.

"Being the El Paso Chihuahuas manager has been an incredible experience," Murphy said in a statement released by the Triple-A club Tuesday afternoon. "El Paso has the best fans in Minor League Baseball. I loved managing the Chihuahuas and being involved in the El Paso community. I will miss it. Thank you to all of the fans and employees at Southwest University Park."

"Throughout his tenure in El Paso, Murph has made a special connection with our fans and this community, and he represented the Chihuahuas in an extraordinary way," said MountainStar Sports Group President Alan Ledford in the statement. "On behalf of our entire organization, we thank him for all his contributions and wish Pat and his family the very best. He'll be a great addition to the Padres and the San Diego community."

"It has been a pleasure to work with Murph and see firsthand the commitment he gives his players and also his community. Both are richer for having him as the first ever Chihuahuas manager. We wish him great success with the Padres and thank him for his time here," said Chihuahuas general manager Brad Taylor.

The Padres' announcement, along with the original story on Murphy heading to San Diego, is below: 

Every now and then, Triple-A managers get called up, too.

Triple-A El Paso manager Pat Murphy is on his way to San Diego to join the Padres, according to a tweet by Will Carroll of FanDuel Insider. A source confirmed that Murphy was flying to San Diego on Monday and that Jody Davis will serve as the Chihuahuas manager in Murphy's absence.

That report comes on the heels of the news that the Padres dismissed skipper Bud Black on Monday. The Padres, who made a series of big-time moves in the offseason including bringing in James Shields, Justin Upton and Wil Myers, sit six games behind the Dodgers (37-26) for first place in the National League West and are four games behind the Cubs (34-27) for the second Wild Card spot. 

However, it's still not clear what role Murphy would play at the Major League club. Bench coach Dave Roberts was named temporary interim manager Monday following Black's firing, but the club noted that it's still looking for another interim skipper for the rest of the 2015 season. One possibility could be that Murphy works as Roberts' bench coach with another being that he'd be the one to guide San Diego the rest of the summer. For what it's worth, ESPN's Keith Olbermann tweeted that Murphy is indeed headed to San Diego but is "himself unclear whether it's to become manager or bench coach." 

Murphy certainly has the resume to handle the jump to the Majors in whatever role he's given. The 56-year-old skipper got his start in college ball, where he coached Notre Dame from 1988-94. He led the Fighting Irish to three NCAA Regional Finals before making the jump to Arizona State in 1995 and staying with the Sun Devils until 2009. He won three straight Pac-10 titles with the Sun Devils from 2007-09 (four overall) and took them to five College World Series (1998, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009), although the 2007 trip was eventually vacated due to recruiting violations. He moved to the Padres system in 2011, starting with Class A Short Season Eugene for two seasons before moving onto Triple-A Tucson in 2013. He became the first manager of the El Paso Chihuahuas last season, after the club was relocated from Tucson, and went 72-72. 

Of all the lines on Murphy's resume, this might be most impressive. Since he joined Notre Dame in 1988, none of his teams at the collegiate or professional level has had a losing record. 

Murphy was rumored to be a Brewers coaching target back in May when Craig Counsell was named Milwaukee's manager. Counsell played for Murphy at Notre Dame from 1989-92 and was reportedly hoping his former skipper would join him on the Brewers staff. The Padres seemed relunctant to allow Murphy to move, and nothing ever transpired. Afterward, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal quoted a rival executive saying, "[Murphy] must have been made promises -- big ones."

Sam Dykstra is a contributor to Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.