January 21, 2009

Brown Football, Women's Crew to be Honored

Jan. 21, 2009

Providence, R.I. - Rhode Island's Words Unlimited, a group composed of local media and sports information staff has announced that several Brown athletes and coaches will be recognized for their achievements over the past year. On the list are head coaches John and Phoebe Murphy, who led the women's crew to an NCAA Championship, and the Ivy-champion Brown football team.

All awards will be given at the annual banquet, which will be held on Sunday, February 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Radisson Airport Hotel in Warwick.

The Brown football squad will be honored twice, as the group voted to honor the Bears as both the Team of the Year and recipients of the Community Service Award. Picked to finish third in the Ivy League Pre-season media poll behind Harvard and Yale, the Brown football team captured its second Ivy League title in the last four years, and third under head coach Phil Estes. The Bears posted a 7-3 overall record, but more importantly, compiled a 6-1 Ivy League mark to capture the Ivy League Championship.

Brown's fourth Ivy League Championship was especially gratifying for the seniors on the Brown football team, who earned their second Ivy title at Brown. The Bears had previously captured Ivy League titles in 1976, 1999 and 2005. This year's group of 21 seniors, Brown's Class of 2009, became the first class in Brown football history to earn two Ivy League Championships.

The team was equally impressive off the field, as they partnered with ABC's Extreme Home Makeover to assist with the construction of a new home for the Silva family of Warwick. Doreen and Kenny Silva have two children of their own, plus three adopted children, all with disabilities, and two foster infants. The family had outgrown their Cape-style house of about 1,000 square feet that contained dangerous levels of lead paint.

In addition to its work with Extreme Makeover, the Brown football hosted the 2nd Annual "Bench Press for Cancer" on the Main Green of Brown University. Combining dedication to physical training and dedication to helping others, the event raised funds for the American Cancer Society.

Head Coach Phil Estes' Brown football team also has a continuing strong relationship with inner city kids at the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School at Fox Point, volunteering their time to read to the students in the classrooms.

Words Unlimited also voted to recognize John and Phoebe Murphy as the Collegiate Women's Coaches of the Year for their work with the Brown women's crew. When John Murphy came to Brown in 1984, his goal was to take the crew program to a higher level of competitiveness and awareness, an aim that was only intensified by the addition of his wife, Phoebe Murphy, to the coaching staff three years later. Now in his 25th year at the helm of the program, Murphy has exceeded all expectations, and is recognized as one of the outstanding coaches in the country.

Under the stewardship of John and Phoebe, the Brown women's crew enjoyed another outstanding year in 2008, winning a second consecutive NCAA Championship, the sixth in program history, and marching through an undefeated spring season. In the 11 years since the NCAA's came into existence, the Bears have never finished lower than third, a record unmatched by any other program.

In addition to the success that the team has enjoyed at NCAA's, they have also consistently performed well at other prestigious regattas such as Eastern Sprints and Henley Royal Regatta. To recognize the tremendous job that he has done at Brown, Murphy has twice been named the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year, in 2004 and 2000, and was the EAWRC Coach of the Year in 1988.

Brown's Jeanne Carhart will also be honored at the banquet as the Rhode Island Women's High School Coach of the Year. Carhart, who is the Assistant Sports Information Director at Brown, also took over the reins of the Moses Brown girl's lacrosse team last spring, leading them to the state championship in her first season with the program.